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Banks in Portugal are Closing Accounts of Cryptocurrency Exchanges

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Banks in Portugal are Closing Accounts of Cryptocurrency Exchanges

In Portugal, a crypto-friendly country, some of the top banks have closed accounts of cryptocurrency exchanges operating within the country.

Last week, the account of a Lisbon-based crypto trading platform, CriptoLoja, was closed by Banco Commercial Portugues, the biggest listed bank in Portugal. The CEO and founder of the exchange, Pedro Borges, also said that Banco Santander has initiated a similar move.

Apart from this, two other small banks have also closed accounts with CriptoLoja without any official explanation. Two other crypto exchanges have also faced similar difficulties like CryptoLoja with banks closing their accounts.

The regulators around the world are concerned about investors’ risks and money laundering issues, so they have been ramping up their efforts. Banco Commercial said its duty is to inform authorities whenever there is a “suspicious transaction.” Similarly, an executive of Banco Santander said that the lender acts in “accordance with its perception of risk.”

Borges said that whenever there was any suspicious transaction, they would inform the authorities about the same.

Speaking to Bloomberg, he said “We now have to rely on user accounts outside Portugal to run the exchange. All the compliance and reporting procedures have been followed.”

Pedro Guimaraes, the founder of crypto firm Mind the Coin’, said that they have been unable to open new accounts after all its accounts were closed earlier this year. He also said, “While there is no official explanation, some banks just tell us they don’t want to work with crypto companies. It’s almost impossible to start a crypto business in Portugal right now.”

This recent move by Portuguese banks has affected some of the top crypto exchanges in Portugal, which already have licenses from the central bank. Portugal became a haven for crypto firms, due to zero taxes on capital gains and traders have set up their base there. However, there could be a possible shift and toughening of the crypto environment in Portugal.

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