Bison Bank has received a license by Banco de Portugal to act as the country's first crypto bank.
As reported by Sapo, the bank has been given the go-ahead to launch Bison Digital Assets, a company responsible for the custodial and exchange of crypto assets.
A "new and broader set of products and services will be offered to customers," according to Sapo. These products will meet their global needs for financial and virtual assets, in line with market trends.
Moreover, Bison Digital Assets is said to be targeting high net worth institutional investors – but the company has yet to reveal which cryptocurrencies it will offer.
By being regulated by the Banco de Portugal, Bison Digital Assets will be subject to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.
Crypto service providers are not subject to the regulator's supervision in terms of prudential or market conduct matters.
Portugal is not the first country to have dabbled in the cryptocurrency industry, but this is the first crypto bank to make landfall there.
When it comes to crypto, Portugal has one of the friendliest tax regimes in the world.
Cryptocurrency sales in that country have been tax-free since 2018. Investment income that is currently not captured by cryptocurrency investment earnings is taxed at over 20%.
In April 2020, the country announced plans to create Technological Free Zones (ZLTs), areas for businesses to test products and services.
Through its digital transformation initiative, the country is considering testing blockchain technology.
The government of Portugal announced in October 2021 that it would engage public and private sector businesses as well as experts to develop a National Blockchain Strategy.
As part of the study, the group clarified regulatory requirements as well as considered how the technology might be applied in the country.