Banco de Portugal (the nation’s central banking institution) has reportedly approved Bison Bank to start offering cryptocurrency services to clients. To do so, the latter will create a subsidiary called Bison Digital Assets, which will operate in the “virtual asset custody and exchange business.”
Bison Bank Leads the Way
According to the local coverage, Bison Bank became the first monetary organization authorized by the Central Bank to provide cryptocurrency trading opportunities to customers. The company clarified it will offer “a new and broader set of products and services” that match the growing clients’ interest in the digital asset sector.
The bank will build a venture arm dubbed Bison Digital Assets to act as a crypto exchange and custodian.
Headquartered in Lisbon, Bison Bank was called Banco de Investimento SA (Banif) until 2018. Back then, the Chinese corporation Bison Capital Holding acquired the company and renamed it after itself.
The financial institution provides a wide range of wealth management, depositary & custody, and investment banking services to individuals and institutional clients through a platform that acts as a bridge between European and Asian markets.
Portugal: a Crypto-Friendly Destination
In Portugal, cryptocurrency transactions are exempt from VAT or other taxes such as the Personal Income Tax. The nation’s authorities view bitcoin and the altcoins as a form of payment rather than assets. As such, the Iberian country has positioned itself as a cryptocurrency hub for digital nomads.
Its legacy has been proved recently as thousands of Ukrainian refugees left their homeland due to the military conflict with Russia and entered Portugal. Last month, CryptoPotato reported the story of Maria Yarotska from Ukraine, who drove for six days and crossed all of Europe with her family to seek refuge in the crypto-friendly state.
“I have a lot of colleagues here. They will help me legalize my documents so I can stay,” Yarotska explained.
Another example of Portugal’s crypto-welcoming stance came from its Western island Madeira. Its President of Regional Government – Miguel Albuquerque – revealed last week that the region intends to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. He added that residents won’t need to pay capital gains when trading the primary cryptocurrency.
“I believe in the future, and I believe in bitcoin. Our government will continue to work to create a fantastic environment for bitcoin in Madeira,” he concluded.
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