Santander, a Spain-based financial institution, has started the process of launching the country’s first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) despite regulatory challenges.
According to a local media, Eleconomista, Santander’s Executive Chairman Ana Botín said the product has been in the process for a while and it’s majorly driven by customer demand.
“Our clients want to buy bitcoin, but we have been quite slow to adopt it due to regulatory issues. We are now about to offer crypto ETFs.”
It’s worthy of note that although the institution is planning the launch, no such product has been registered with the CNMV, the Spanish securities regulatory agency. Furthermore, Botín did not provide a timeline regarding the availability of the ETF.
The move by Santander is considered a game-changer since a majority of Spanish financial asset managers have shown less interest in putting money behind digital currencies. The reluctance possibly stems from a developing crypto ecosystem coupled with a lack of clear regulations.
Banks to Declare their Cryptocurrency Plans
This comes after the Spanish Central Bank directed financial institutions to disclose their cryptocurrency plans for the next three years. The institutions were also required to elaborate their business relationships with crypto-service providers and exposure to crypto.
Furthermore, the banking regulator also noted that the institutions should outline whether they plan to issue tokens or provide crypto custody, trading, or payment services.
With cryptocurrencies surging in value, Santander will likely record further growth with the launch of a Bitcoin ETF.