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Central Bank of Portugal Grants Country’s First Crypto License to a Bank

Dirk Baltrusch

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Bison Bank, a Portugal-based financial institution, has received a license from the Portuguese central bank (Banco de Portugal) to operate as a virtual asset service provider (VASP), Banco de Portugal announced Thursday.

  • Bison Bank will create a special business division, Bison Digital Assets, to operate as a virtual asset exchange, according to Portuguese media outlet Sapo.

  • The division is the first entity in Portugal owned by a bank to be authorized by Banco de Portugal to offer custodian and crypto trading services.

  • Bison Bank provides wealth management, depositary and investment banking services to individuals and institutional clients, according to its website. It is owned by a Hong Kong-based Chinese private capital group.

  • In March, Banco do Portugal granted the first full all-categories VASP license to Utrust, a Portugal-based on-chain crypto payments firm.

  • In June, it licensed two cryptocurrency exchanges, Criptoloja and Mind The Coin, to operate as VASPs. The bank also granted a crypto exchange license to Luso Digital Assets.