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Spain’s Central Bank Picks Partners for Wholesale CBDC Testing

Banco de Espana, the central bank of Spain, has recently selected three blockchain firms out of 24 applicants. The federal agency has announced that it has appointed Cecabank, Adhara, and Abanca protocols as blockchain networks for performing the CBDC pilot.

The selection is finalized after a year of open calls for participating in the central bank digital currency pilot. On this account, the platform published a resolution recently to cement the venture with the 3 finalized blockchain projects.

Working and Impact of Wholesale CBDCs

As per the official details, the CBDC pilot will test the working and impact of wholesale central bank digital currency. The pilot will continue for the upcoming 6 months and feature the best processes and settlement options for interbank payments using a single wholesale CBDC.

The CBDC is also tokenized and enables the exchanging of several wholesale CBDC transactions issued by various central banks.

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Features of Spain’s CBDC

The Cecabank-Abanca consortium is also working on a different phase of the pilot where wholesale CBDC will facilitate a simulated tokenized bond. Both firms are based in Spain while Adhara blockchain is based out of the United Kingdom.

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The stakeholders of the program have notified the public that Spanish CBDC is unique and independent of the digital euro program. For context, it is important to mention that the digital euro-pilot will cover all economies within the Eurozone when implemented.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation has noted that the Spanish CBDC program will also implement the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation 6 months prior to the launch. In October, the Bank of Spain printed a document that explained the nature and use cases of digital euro.

Meanwhile, the locals of Spain have not expressed an interest in utilizing the digital euro. During a survey conducted in October, around 65% of participants stated that they would not use a Europe-wide CBDC in addition to the traditional payment methods.

Rise of Crypto Firms in Spain

In 2023, around 30 cryptocurrency firms were granted a virtual asset services provider (VASP) license in Spain. According the official reports, the total number of cryptocurrency firms registered in Spain increased by 56% for last year.

The official website of Banco de Espana has noted that Spanish regulators issued 30 VASP licenses in 2023.

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Meanwhile, the nation added 53 firms to the same registry in 2022. Major firms from the sector joined the field in 2023 such as BitPanda, Crypto.com, Vivid, and Revolut etc. At the same time, many noteworthy firms are still not added to the register such as Coinbase and Kraken. Meanwhile, local firms hold the majority market share accounting for 61 out of 85 licensed entities.


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Hassan Mehmood (Saudi Arabia)

Hassan is currently working as a news reporter for Tokenhell. He is a professional content writer with 2 years of experience. He has a degree in journalism.

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