The process requiring crypto exchanges to obtain has already begun in Portugal. Already two of the local crypto exchanges have been granted licenses by the Banco de Portugal – the central bank of Portugal.
The responsibility for granting operation licenses, registration, and permits to crypto exchanges was handed over to Portugal’s central bank. The government decided that every Virtual Asset Service Provider, also known as “VASPs”, would need to obtain licenses and get them registered. The authority tasked with issuing licenses and carrying out registrations was Banco de Portugal, which is the central bank of Portugal.
Other responsibilities of the Banco de Portugal with regard to VASPs are to ensure compliance of policies, rules, and regulations. For instance, Portugal has signed a treaty through which it has adopted two particular international policies and standards. These policies and standards are known as CFT i.e. the Combating the Financing of Terrorism and AML i.e. Anti-Money Laundering.
The grant of licenses and registration of VASPs only takes place on the bank ensures that both policies have been agreed to by VASPs. In the absence of non-compliance in any one or both of these policies, Banco de Portugal is empowered not to issue licenses. Similarly, registration right is also denied to VASPs if they cannot agree to adopt either of the two international standards.
Since the initiation and beginning of the process of registration and licenses, the bank has already registered two different crypto exchanges. It was reported that crypto exchanges namely Criptoloja and Minda the Coin, are the two firms granted registrations.
Criptoloja is a new crypto startup that has been established and registered in Lisbon, Portugal. It has been claimed by Criptoloja that it is the first crypto exchange of Portugal that is owned and operated purely by the Portuguese. There is no foreign hand or partner involved with the exchange, sand an official of Criptoloja. This firm will be rendering services to Portuguese investors in their endeavors of trading digital currencies. For the time being, Criptoloja will allow access to Bitcoin and other notable cryptocurrencies to its customers. In the meantime, the exchange has committed to introducing more digital coins with the passage of time.
The other firm, which has received a license to operate, is Mind the Coin. This very exchange company will be involved in providing services of buying and selling of cryptocurrencies to Portuguese. For the time being, the supported cryptocurrencies at Mind the Coin are Bitcoin as well as Monero and Litecoin. In addition, the exchange has told that it will continue to bring more cryptocurrencies under its trading products.
The central bank clarified:
Banco de Portugal’s supervision regarding virtual assets service providers, as determined by Law No 83/2017 of 18 August 2017, is limited to AML/CFT purposes, and does not extend to other areas of a prudential, market conduct or any other nature.
Entities that must be registered are those providing exchange services, with or without involving fiat currencies.
In addition, entities providing crypto transfer services and “safekeeping and/or administration of virtual assets or instruments that enable the control, ownership, storage or transfer of such assets, including private encrypted keys,” must also register with the central bank.