The Portuguese central bank, the Banco de Portugal, granted a license to Bison Bank on Thursday that will allow the lender to operate as a virtual asset service provider (VASP).

The license will allow the bank to offer cryptocurrency trading services and act as a crypto custodian.

Bison has become the first bank in the country to receive this crypto license. Earlier, the central bank granted the license to an on-chain crypto  payments  firm, Utrust, and a few other cryptocurrency exchanges.

Bison Bank is owned by a Hong Kong-based Chinese private capital group. It offers wealth management, depositary and investment banking services to both individual and institutional clients.

The Portuguese local bank is now planning to create a separate division, Bison Digital Assets, and start operating as a virtual asset exchange. In addition, it will become the first local bank to offer crypto custody and trading services.

Similar to its regular banking offerings, it will position its virtual asset services to the high net worth customer segment. However, the bank is yet to provide details on its virtual asset services.

Crypto Regulations

When it comes to cryptocurrency regulations, Portugal has a much clearer framework compared to its other European peers.

“The Banco de Portugal is the Portuguese competent authority responsible for registering entities intending to act as virtual assets service providers and verifying  compliance  with the legal and regulatory provisions governing the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT),” the central bank states about its crypto regulatory role.

But, the central bank has only licensed five local Portuguese entities, including Bison Bank, for offering crypto services to date. Moreover, Bison’s services will be confined only to Portugal.

Meanwhile, other cryptocurrency platforms operating within Europe and regulated under the pan-European Union regulator’s MiFID II framework can offer their services in Portugal.

The Portuguese central bank, the Banco de Portugal, granted a license to Bison Bank on Thursday that will allow the lender to operate as a virtual asset service provider (VASP).

The license will allow the bank to offer cryptocurrency trading services and act as a crypto custodian.

Bison has become the first bank in the country to receive this crypto license. Earlier, the central bank granted the license to an on-chain crypto  payments  firm, Utrust, and a few other cryptocurrency exchanges.

Bison Bank is owned by a Hong Kong-based Chinese private capital group. It offers wealth management, depositary and investment banking services to both individual and institutional clients.

The Portuguese local bank is now planning to create a separate division, Bison Digital Assets, and start operating as a virtual asset exchange. In addition, it will become the first local bank to offer crypto custody and trading services.

Similar to its regular banking offerings, it will position its virtual asset services to the high net worth customer segment. However, the bank is yet to provide details on its virtual asset services.

Crypto Regulations

When it comes to cryptocurrency regulations, Portugal has a much clearer framework compared to its other European peers.

“The Banco de Portugal is the Portuguese competent authority responsible for registering entities intending to act as virtual assets service providers and verifying  compliance  with the legal and regulatory provisions governing the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT),” the central bank states about its crypto regulatory role.

But, the central bank has only licensed five local Portuguese entities, including Bison Bank, for offering crypto services to date. Moreover, Bison’s services will be confined only to Portugal.

Meanwhile, other cryptocurrency platforms operating within Europe and regulated under the pan-European Union regulator’s MiFID II framework can offer their services in Portugal.