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Portuguese Banks Terminate Service Provision to Crypto Exchanges

Several Portuguese banks have started closing accounts related to crypto exchanges as they believe that it would be too risky to continue. The country’s central bank seems to have approved the financial institutions’ decision.

In recent years, Portugal has been renowned as a paradise of crypto as it does not impose a capital gains tax on crypto-related earnings. However, it appears that both the government and financial sector have been increasingly keen to regulate crypto in accordance with other EU countries in the past few months.

According to media outlet Expresso, along with Jornal de Negocios and Bloomberg, at least four accounts belonging to cryptocurrency exchanges have been closed. The banks that have done so include Banco Comercial Portugues (BCP) and Banco Santander, as well as Caixa Geral de Depósitos, BiG, and Abanca.

The Central Bank of Portugal, which regulates domestic crypto trading platforms, has registered the exchanges. Criptoloja, Mind The Coin, and Luso Digital Assets, are revealed as three of the 4 exchanges, while the fourth requested media anonymity.

Tax lawyers in Spain reported recently as of April 2022 that Spaniard crypto holders that intend to avoid taxation on token-based profits are “fleeing” to Portugal. They warned that Spain is on the brink of becoming a “crypto desert” due to the country tightening its regulation of the sector.

However, the Portugese government may be adopting that same mindset soon as they are now observed to be determined to regulate. 

In May, two bills proposing the impending imposition of crypto-related tax were rejected in the parliament. Although both bills are coming from minor opposition parties. It is expected that the ruling party will formulate its own bill, which some have predicted could reach the Assembly of the Republic soon.

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