Bison Bank is the first financial institution in the country authorized to provide services related to digital assets.
Bison Bank to offer cryptocurrency services
Bison Bank has received authorization from the Portuguese Central Bank (Banco de Portugal) to operate as a ‘virtual asset services provider’ (VASP).
Banco de Portugal updated its list of virtual service providers yesterday, adding Bison Digital Assets as the fifth licensed cryptocurrency exchange in the country. The company is a newly created subsidiary of Bison Bank, which is owned by a Chinese private capital company based in Hong Kong. Local media reported that Bison will be showcasing its cryptocurrency services to customers.
In April 2021, regulations regulating the exchange of cryptocurrencies were established and introduced in accordance with the licensing regime introduced by the central bank. What’s more, in June of the same year, the bank granted licenses to the exchanges Mind The Coin and Criptoloja, the first two VASPs allowed to operate in the country.
In March 2021, the regulator granted the first VASP license covering “all categories” to Utrust. This gave her the ability to offer cryptocurrency swaps, transfers to digital wallet addresses, and store private keys. Now Bison Bank has also received a license of all categories.
Portugal has long been considered a cryptocurrency-friendly country and a tax haven for companies in the sector. Capital gains are not recognized there, nor are income taxes levied on cryptocurrencies from individuals. Exceptions are situations where digital assets are a person’s only income. This is possible because Portugal considers cryptocurrencies to be a form of payment or currency, and not strictly as an asset.
In April 2020. Portugal has announced plans to create so-called Free Technology Zones (ZLT), areas where companies can test products and services. The country’s authorities added that they are considering testing blockchain technology as part of a digital transformation plan.
The Portuguese government announced in October that it intends to engage startups, companies, and experts to develop a national blockchain strategy.
The group focuses on research into what areas blockchain technology can be used, along with an explanation of regulatory conditions. The Portuguese government expects the draft strategy to be published at the end of this month. The final version is to appear no later than June 2022.
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