BBVA to Offer Cryptocurrency Services in 2021

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  • BBVA is said to be launching a cryptocurrency investing platform for its customers next year
  • Spain’s second biggest bank will serve its European customer base with the Switzerland-based offer
  • Users may have to declare their holdings to the tax authorities

BBVA, Spain’s second biggest bank, is to launch cryptocurrency services next year in another sign that institutional adoption is on the increase. CoinDesk reported yesterday that the bank, which has assets amounting to almost €700 billion ($840 billion), will become the latest institutional body to offer cryptocurrency trading facilities to its customers, following in the footsteps of trailblazers like Fidelity Digital Assets.

January Launch After “Compliance Hurdles” Are Cleared

A crypto offering from BBVA, which operates worldwide out of its Bilbao base, would open up the buying, selling, and storing of cryptocurrencies to its millions of European customers, likely through the contract for difference (CFD) format favored by PayPal. The operation itself will be based in Switzerland, which has high levels of cryptocurrency regulation in comparison to BBVA’s home country.

A source told CoinDesk that there were “still some compliance hurdles” to clear, meaning that the BBVA cryptocurrency platform would not be live in December but should be open “next month.”

Spanish Users May Not Fancy BBVA Offer

It is no surprise that BBVA has looked to Switzerland for its cryptocurrency operation, given Spain’s history with the asset class. Jerez, a city in southern Spain, was hit with a ransomware attack that demanded Bitcoin last year, while two huge crime rings involving digital assets were using Spain as a hub of operations.

Something that might put Spanish investors off is the cryptocurrency disclosure law making its way through parliament that would require crypto holders to disclose their crypto holdings to the Spanish tax authorities. This could see the BBVA offer being more popular outside its native country than in it.