Major Portuguese Banks Close Crypto Accounts (Report)

Some major banks in Portugal, including Banco Comercial Portugues and Banco Santander, reportedly closed all CriptoLoja accounts last week. The company is the first cryptocurrency exchange licensed to operate in the country.

This comes after Portuguese authorities have largely taken a crypto-friendly stance, rejecting two tax proposals that could apply to investors profiting from digital assets.

Are the tides turning?

according to a coverage According to Bloomberg, several cryptocurrency platforms in Portugal have had to deal with banking-related issues. A few days ago, the country’s banking giants – Banco Comercial Portugues and Banco Santander – closed all of CriptoLoja’s accounts, and two smaller banks did the same. None of the companies provided an official explanation for why they decided to go anti-crypto.

Apart from CriptoLoja, other exchanges like Mind the Coin are also facing the same problem. The latter was halted by authorities in early 2022 and has been unable to open accounts for customers since.

Ricardo Filipe, chief product officer at Luso Digital Assets, said regulators also closed some of his firm’s accounts.

Anti-money laundering policies and preventing the use of digital currencies in criminal activities may be one reason why banks are taking action. Banco Comercial explained in an emailed statement that it takes action every time it detects a “suspicious transaction.”

Pedro Borges, the CEO and co-founder of CriptoLoja, said his exchange must now rely on “using accounts outside of Portugal to operate” its operations.

“All compliance and reporting procedures were followed,” he outlined.

In the past few months, Portugal has become the center of the cryptocurrency industry. Domestic authorities treat digital currencies like other currencies, not just assets. It is also one of the few countries in the Old World where cryptocurrency transactions are not taxed.

This crypto-friendly attitude has attracted many Ukrainian residents to flee the war-torn country and seek refuge in Portugal.About 27,000 Ukrainians lived in the Iberian country before the military conflict with Russia, and now their number soar With more than 52,000 people, it is the second largest expat community after Brazilians.

Crypto Tax Bills Rejected

Earlier this year, two left-wing parties in Portugal — Livre and Bloco de Esquerda — suggested that certain amendments to cryptocurrency tax policy should be passed. Specifically, they insist on taxing individuals who make more than $5,100 a year in profits from dealing with digital assets.

The proposals were rejected by the Portuguese Congress two months ago. It is worth mentioning, however, that the country’s ruling government – the Socialist Party – has also sought to implement some changes in this area. It is unclear what it will propose and whether Congress will approve it.

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