According to media reports, Portuguese central banks have begun shutting or refusing to create accounts for cryptocurrency services such as exchanges. As one of Europe’s most crypto-friendly places and a shelter for bitcoin fans, Malta’s reputation may be tarnished by this decision.
Bank Account Closures of Portuguese Cryptocurrency Firms
While there is no formal justification, some banks say they do not wish to collaborate with cryptocurrency businesses. Starting a cryptocurrency business in Portugal right now is practically hard.
With the closure of accounts by some of the country’s top banks, the country’s reputation as a prominent European center for crypto enterprises and industry talent is in jeopardy.
Earlier this week, Banco Comercial Portugues and Banco Santander, two of the country’s largest publicly traded banks, shut down all of the accounts of Lisbon-based exchange Criptoloja, according to Bloomberg, which cited Criptoloja co-founder and CEO Pedro Borges. This scenario occurred following the closure of two smaller banks’ accounts on the platform.
The crypto entrepreneur stressed that no formal explanation was given for these incidents. According to Jornal de Negocios, the state-owned Caixa Geral de Depositos and the Lisbon-based BiG have already begun rejecting or canceling crypto exchange accounts.
According to the article, at least two additional crypto dealers have shut down their bank accounts this year. Executives at rival Luso Digital Assets have reported that they have been unable to register an account for months and that some of their accounts have been terminated.
Cryptocurrency Companies in Portugal Are Being Forced to Open Accounts Outside of the Country
Cryptocurrency firms are typically barred from working with banks and credit card providers because of anti-money laundering and knowing your customer regulations. Some entities may lose their banking services if Banco Comercial reports suspicious transactions. A spokesman for Banco Santander said the bank operates “following its estimate of risk.”
Pedro Borges, the company’s creator, stated, “We now have to rely on user accounts outside Portugal to run the exchange.” But that’s even after his firm got a license from the central bank for the first time last year. Criptoloja emphasized that he has always reported questionable transactions to the authorities and adhered to all applicable regulations. Pedro Guimaraes, a member of Mind the Coin, contributed the following:More posts to read
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This year, Banco de Portugal terminated the accounts of three of the five cryptocurrency trading sites the bank had approved. There is no indication that the trend will affect other enterprises in the industry. Still, Portugal’s zero-percent tax on crypto earnings, low living costs, and pleasant climate have made the country a popular destination for crypto aficionados.