The Banco de Portugal, the competent authority responsible for registering virtual asset service providers in Portugal, has granted a license to Bison Bank to act as the first crypto bank in the country.
**Exchange and custody of cryptos**
According to [Portuguese media outlet Sapo]( the bank has been granted permission to launch Bison Digital Assets. This is the branch of the bank that will carry out custody and exchange services of cryptocurrencies. Customers will reportedly be offered a “new and broader range of products and services that, in line with market demand trends in this new segment, align with their global financial and virtual asset needs,” Sapo said.
Bison Digital Assets will also target high net worth institutional investors, but the company has not yet disclosed which cryptos it will offer services for. The company is supervised by the Banco de Portugal to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The regulator does not supervise prudential or market conduct areas for crypto service providers. While this is the first crypto bank to set foot in Portugal, it is not the first time the European country has engaged in the crypto industry.
**Favorable regulations in Portugal**
Portugal has one of the most tax-friendly regimes in the world. At least, when it comes to crypto. Proceeds from the sale of crypto assets have been exempt from tax since 2018. Traditional investment income – which currently does not include income from investing in cryptocurrencies – is taxed at more than 20%.
However, companies that accept crypto currencies are still subject to income tax. In recent months, Portugal has also been the focus of some of the biggest crypto-related events, including the Solana Breakpoint Conference in November 2021.