Spanish regulators are set to step up their crypto monitoring efforts, and have pledged to focus on wallet providers and crypto pay-related firms.
Per El Confidential Digital, the new initiative comes from Spain’s Ministry of Finance. The ministry’s Union of Technicians (known locally as GESTHA) was quoted as stating that it “has been monitoring” the “[crypto] situation for several years” and had gradually succeeded in “establishing control measures to stop money laundering” efforts that make use of bitcoin (BTC) and other tokens.
The firms that have come under the regulatory microscope the most appear to be crypto wallet providers and companies that accept coins as a form of payment.
GESTHA’s president Carlos Cruzado was quoted as stating that his agency had begun making “cryptocurrency-related requests” to operators that “are dedicated to guarding [private] keys” and “organizations that offer payments” using BTC and altcoins.
Cruzado added that the agency was not interested in individuals or firms making crypto purchases, but warned that “when selling or exchanging” coins, crypto investors needed to make declarations.
The GESTHA head claimed that the body was still investigating a number of cases, but added that it had only begun monitoring the sector in earnest in the past two years.
“None of our investigations have been closed,” he added.
A much-maligned crypto declaration law that forces Spaniards to declare their holdings on overseas-based crypto exchanges was green-lighted by parliament this past summer. Failure to comply will see citizens hit with fixed penalty fines worth USD 5,900 for each offense.
Accountancy firms shortly after claimed that they had received an “exponential” wave of inquiries about how to calculate their tax returns and make declarations.
The ministry appears to have stepped up its monitoring game in the past couple of years, along with the Spanish Tax Agency. The bodies have sent thousands of citizens they suspect of trading in crypto warnings that they will face penalties if they fail to declare their earnings and crypto-related activities.