Banco de Portugal, the authority responsible for the registration of virtual asset service providers in Portugal, has granted a license to Bison Bank to operate as the first cryptocurrency bank in the country.
According to Portuguese media outlet Sapo, the bank has received authorization to launch Bison Digital Assets, a specific company that will conduct cryptocurrency exchange and custodial services.
According to Sapo, customers will be offered “a new and broader set of products and services, in line with market demand trends in this new segment, tailored to their global needs for financial assets and virtual assets”.
Bison Digital Assets will also target high net worth institutional investors. However, the company has yet to reveal which cryptocurrency it will provide services for.
According to Banco de Portugal regulations, Bison Digital Assets will be monitored on the basis of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing. The regulator does not extend oversight to areas of market behavior or safety to cryptocurrency service providers.
While this is the first crypto bank to land in Portugal, it is not the first time the European country has started developing a crypto industry.
Portugal has one of the most tax-friendly regimes in the world, when it comes to cryptocurrencies.
Proceeds from the sale of cryptocurrencies have been tax-free since 2018. Traditional investment income, not crypto investments, is taxed above 20%.
Even so, businesses that accept cryptocurrencies are still subject to income tax.
In recent months, Portugal has also been the center of some of the biggest crypto-related events, including the Solana Breakpoint Conference in November 2021.
Portugal’s burgeoning crypto scene has helped the capital Lisbon make it to Decrypt’s 15 most influential crypto cities in the world for 2021.