Portugal’s central bank is currently reviewing 12 applications from companies that want to provide crypto-currency-related services in the country. The applications are awaiting a decision, while recent reports indicate that some commercial banks are closing the accounts of already approved operators.
Binance is among the crypto-currency platforms seeking approval in Portugal
Portugal’s monetary authority is currently evaluating applications submitted by 12 entities that intend to offer Portuguese customers services for virtual assets, Dinheiro Vivo disclosed. Crypto-currency companies need a license from the Banco de Portugal (BdP) to work in the country, which is still considered one of the most crypto-currency-friendly jurisdictions in Europe. Final decisions on the applications are expected by the end of the year.
Among the candidates to enter the Portuguese crypto-currency market is Binance. The digital currency exchange platform has begun recruiting in the country, having posted six vacancies on its Portuguese page, although it is still waiting for the green light from the BoP.
Criptoloja, Mind the Coin, Digital Luso, Utrust and Bison Digital Assets are the five crypto-currency brokers already operating in Portugal. The new applications are an indication that the nation’s crypto industry is developing and is likely to grow soon to a total of 17 registered exchanges.
At the same time, crypto companies are also facing some challenges. A report recently revealed that major Portuguese banks are closing their accounts or refusing to open new ones, hampering the industry’s normal business operations.
According to an article published by Jornal de Negócios and cited by Bloomberg, banks Caixa Geral de Depósitos, BCP, Santander, Abanca and BiG are closing the accounts of four of the five digital asset managers.
In a statement, the Bank of Portugal said it was monitoring the issue, but also emphasized that its jurisdiction, with respect to crypto-assets, does not extend to “areas that go beyond the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.“The financial authority has developed :
The decision to open or maintain bank accounts depends, in these cases, on the risk management policies that each banking institution intends to pursue.
The situation could bring bad publicity to Portugal, which had established itself as a crypto-currency-friendly jurisdiction in recent years. Portugal has attracted many crypto-currency enthusiasts due to its zero tax rate on crypto-currency gains, affordable cost of living and mild Mediterranean climate.