The Portuguese government has always been debating blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, specifically due to the Fintech sector's rapid ascent. These technologies have gained widespread acclaim in recent years largely as a result of the ever-increasing price of cryptocurrencies, and the increased desire in Portugal and other nations to host ICOs. It’s no wonder that crypto enthusiasts have started to invest in crypto exchange development. Before commencing operations, anybody planning to launch a cryptocurrency in Portugal or a cryptographic business to conduct transactions with digital assets should be obliged to register with Banco de Portugal. The central bank of the Portuguese Republic is referred to as Banco de Portugal. One of the oldest banks still in existence in the world, the bank was established by royal license in 1846.
Virtual asset providers providing the below-mentioned activities are required to get a license for cryptography activity in Portugal. These are:
- Service Providers that facilitate currency and virtual asset exchange.
- Service Providers that facilitate exchange between a single or more virtual asset types.
- Service Providers that enable the transfer of virtual assets between addresses or wallets.
- Custom wallet service providers
Bison Bank was granted permission to provide crypto storage & trading services in Portugal in April 2022. Bison Bank, a Portuguese financial institution, has been granted a license by the Portuguese central bank (Banco de Portugal) to function as a virtual asset service provider (VASP). Bison Bank, according to the Portuguese media portal Sapo, would establish a unique business unit Bison Digital Assets to trade virtual assets. The division is the first in Portugal to be owned by a bank and approved by Banco de Portugal to provide depository and cryptocurrency trading services.
For the purpose of registering cryptocurrency businesses in Portugal and ensuring that the aforementioned individuals are complying with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements for the implementation of AML, the Central Bank is the competent authority. The Bank of Portugal is the Portuguese competent body in charge of registering businesses planning to provide virtual asset services and ensuring that legal and regulatory requirements are being followed. This is done in order to avoid money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT).
According to Law No. 83/2017 of August 18, 2017, Banco de Portugal's jurisdiction over virtual asset service providers is confined to the goals of AML/CFT and does not extend to other domains of prudential, market behavior, or any other kind. According to Law No. 83/2017 of August 18, 2017, the following acts or transactions involving virtual assets on Portuguese soil require prior registration with the Bank of Portugal, even if the applicant is involved in another occupation or activity:
1. Providers of virtual asset transfer services
2. Services for exchange between virtual assets and fiat money, or between a variety of virtual assets
3. Preserving and/or managing virtual assets, as well as the instruments used to manage, keep, store, or transfer such assets, such as private encrypted keys.
1. Legal or legal persons deemed to be legal persons formed in Portugal for the purpose of carrying out operations involving virtual assets
2. Natural or legal people or entities considered to be legal persons based in Portugal or legal entities involved in operations involving virtual assets
3. Other natural or legal people or entities considered legal persons who are required to declare their actions to the Portuguese tax authorities in connection with the operation of virtual assets.
A variety of conditions must be met in order to receive a crypto-sharing license in Portugal, including the following:
1. IBCM request for prior approval to license a firm in the Portuguese Free Economic Zone
2. The procedure for registering a Portuguese firm
3. Getting an MBCM license
4. Application to the Bank of Portugal for a license to trade cryptocurrency
5. Appointment of a local director and an anti-money laundering officer
6. Establishing a settlement account with a Portuguese bank
There aren't any border limitations or duties in Portugal for declaring bitcoin assets. With the exception of exchanges in which an obligated person subject to the Portuguese AML Act may participate, there is no separate obligation to report in the case of cryptocurrency payments above a certain threshold. In such a case, the individual in question would be required to notify suspicious transactions or actions irrespective of the amount involved. Financial institutions must evaluate transfers from and to virtual platforms for trading assets in light of ML/TF prevention regulations. They require financial institutions to meet a variety of tasks, such as:
Identification and understanding of their clientele
Document storage for consumers and transactions
Investigation and reporting of suspicious transactions
Adoption and execution of internal controls that account for the EA/TF risks that are unique to each company.
1. Certified or legalized copies of each participant's passport
2. Apostille or legal power of attorney from each member for the company's registration
3. A legality certificate that has been verified or legalized in each participant's country of citizenship
4. The ability of the directors of the company to appoint personnel and submit licensing applications
5. A brief report from each enterprise participant
6. Physical office in Portugal
7. The local authority (at least one director must be a Portuguese resident)
8. A local money laundering specialist
In Portugal, it is against the law to use the same business name more than once, thus three names must be submitted in addition to the requisite paperwork for registration. It's also vital to decide what kinds of economic activity the firm intends to engage in before registering it. The minimum allowed capital size must be determined as well, despite the fact that there is legislation that sets a cap of 1 euro. The steps involved in forming a cryptocurrency firm are as follows:
- Making a company plan and determining future operations.
- Choosing, confirming, and reserving a business name for a cryptocurrency corporation.
- Gathering data on the company's founders, management, and benefactors.
- Finding a crypto company's registration address.
- Preparing registration and component documentation.
- Creation and submission of the registration packet of required papers.
- If authorized, state registration
- Registration for work and tax purposes.
- Acquiring extra permits for activities that require regulation.
Following the company's registration, the aforementioned paperwork must be gathered before opening an account with a Portuguese bank:
- Agreement about the company's establishment;
- The State Register of Companies' extract;
- Extract from the recipients' registration;
- Names of the account manager's parents;
- Mobile phone number
- Email Address
This article might have already given you a thorough overview of the procedures needed to acquire a crypto license in Portugal in 2023. If the entire procedure appears tiresome to you, it is always preferable to work with a cryptocurrency exchange development company with experience creating a crypto-based venture on a global scale. You can find a variety of companies these days that provide their services at an affordable fee. All you have to do is work with a company that is trustworthy. It's past time for you to join the crowd because every firm is participating in some way in the Cryptocurrency industry. Take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make 2023 your own!