Portuguese banks are closing crypto accounts due to risk management worries

The Bank of Portugal has issued licences to all exchanges whose accounts have been terminated, such as Criptoloja, Mind The Coin, and Luso Digital Assets.

Reportedly, many prominent banks in Portugal have begun cancelling the accounts of cryptocurrency exchanges owing to “risk management” concerns, indicating a reversal in Portugal’s pro-cryptocurrency stance. The country’s central bank seems to have given the green light to the financial firms to act.

Several of Portugal’s leading banks have recently cancelled the accounts of CriptoLoja, the first licenced cryptocurrency exchange in the nation. At least four local cryptocurrency exchanges have closed their accounts by BCP (Banco Comercial Portugues), Santander Bank, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, BiG, and Abanca a Bloomberg report.

The Bank of Portugal oversees local cryptocurrency trading platforms and has issued licences to all exchanges. Three businesses were named Criptoloja, Mind The Coin, and Luso Digital Assets, while a fourth asked media outlets not to publish its identity. Mário Centeno, the president of the Bank of Portugal, was cited as stating that banks were free to do whatever they pleased, but he vowed to keep a tight watch on the issue.

As part of its regulation of exchanges, the Bank of Portugal ensures that platforms fight money laundering, terrorist funding, and fraud. According to BCP, its primary responsibility is to report “suspect transactions” to the appropriate authorities, which may result in the termination of banking accounts with specific organisations.

As of press time, CryptoLoja, one of the impacted crypto exchanges, has not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment. When a response is received, this article will be updated.

The suspension of these accounts is a setback to Portugal’s crypto-friendly stance since officials had earlier rejected two tax proposals that might have been applied to cryptocurrency investors. The government and banking industry has lately expressed a greater interest in regulating cryptocurrencies by other European Union states.

Due to their perceived danger, crypto exchanges have had problems securing banking services internationally. According to Cointelegraph, Senator Elizabeth Warren of the United States is allegedly proposing legislation prohibiting banks from offering bitcoin services.

The Iberian Peninsula has attracted Bitcoin entrepreneurs from around Europe, notably Ukrainians escaping their homeland’s turmoil. Before the armed confrontation with Russia, around 27,000 Ukrainians resided in the Iberian country, but their numbers have increased to almost 52,000, making them the second-largest foreign population behind Brazilians.

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