Several banks in Portugal have suddenly started a crusade against bitcoin (BTC) exchanges operating in that country, one of the European regions that has looser regulatory measures on crypto assets.
The Banco Comercial Portugués and Banco Santander were the first to close bank accounts From Criptoloja, one of the largest exchanges in that country. He was later joined by BiG and Abanca, under the guise of “risk management issues,” according to local newspaper Jornal de Negocios.
While Caixa Geral de Depósitos took a more extreme measure, Prohibition of opening accounts for companies operating with virtual assetsarguing that they have “activities related to adult entertainment and drug production and trafficking”.
However, Criptoloja was not the only company affected, Also exchanges like Mind The Coin and Luso Digital ActivosThey saw how their accounts were closed.
“The persecution of crypto brokers by banks is incomprehensible. It is disrespect. In fact, it is a disavowal of the supervisor, the Bank of Portugal. Contrary to what you can imagine the management of most banks, cryptocurrency and its success are their greatest ally if they are to survive on Alive,” Criptoloja explains in his blog.
Criptoloja and Mind The Coin Kanta The first exchanges of Bitcoin Approved by the Bank of Portugal To work in this country, as reported by CriptoNoticias.
Banco de Portugal will not interfere with freezing accounts
For its part, the financial regulator confirmed this It is only responsible for supervising companies that manage virtual assets Compliance with the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.
In addition, they commented that the protection of access to bank accounts in credit institutions “does not apply to companies that carry out activities with virtual assets.”
This is the situation in Portugal Fire alarms in BrazilWell, 2TM, a company based in South America, has held a majority stake in crypto exchange – Mercado Bitcoin – in Criptoloja since the beginning of this year, a fact reported by CriptoNoticias.
“As investors in Portugal, 2TM officials consider what is happening in the Portuguese market to be very disappointing, as dominant financial entities are using their disproportionate power to constrain the development of an already regulated service,” 2TM told digital newspaper Expresso.
In addition to the risks and the alleged link between cryptocurrencies and illicit activities, the banks have not revealed a compelling reason to justify their decision. It can be assumed that these measures They want to make Portugal look like a stricter country with Bitcoinin light of the recent approval of the MiCA Act, which is expected to enter into force in 2024.