How Portugal regulates cryptocurrencies

Despite not having special laws for virtual assets, cryptocurrency exchanges, or e-wallets, Portugal does have certain regulative measures towards virtual assets markets.

Press releases

The virtual assets industry is known for its unpredictability. That is why the financial regulators of Portugal have issued several press releases dedicated to risks and uncertainties related to working with virtual assets, as well as ICO supervision in Portugal.

BoP reported in 2013 that potential investors should be warned about risks that may be connected to owning and investing in cryptocurrencies and informed everyone that the bank had no whatsoever control over them. In the year of 2014, the bank stated that Bitcoin cash machines do not belong to Portugal’s payment system. In the statement BoP also informed investors about potential risks coming with investing in virtual assets in Portugal. Another press release came out shortly and also was talking about the risks of owning and investing in virtual assets as well as implying the illegality of virtual assets in Portugal. Within the same month, BoP advised lending and payment institutions of Portugal to not purchase or sell virtual assets.

In 2017 another press release about the risks of investing in crypto-assets in Portugal was published by CMVM. The statement was focused on the issue of the absence of regulation over virtual assets and, therefore, no supervision from CMVM. During the next year, CMVM kept on issuing new public releases: first on legal recommendations for virtual assets evaluation, second on legal aspects of owning ICOs in Portugal.

The National Council for Financial Supervision in 2018 also published a press release on the risks involved in investing in crypto assets in Portugal.

Future prognosis

Given the high level of interest from regulators and the government of Portugal, there were special task forces created. Their work is to explore future opportunities for virtual assets and risks coming from fintech innovations in Portugal.

Sales of virtual assets in Portugal and ICO regulation in Portuguese jurisdiction saw a growing amount of fresh initiatives in the last years. Many Portuguese companies had already launched ICOs in other jurisdictions, but in 2017 they did so in the state of Portugal.

Since it is clear that the Portuguese market of crypto assets keeps developing, financial regulators of Portugal are doing their best to resolve issues connected to the crypto asset operations. Their intent is to lower possible risks for consumers and fight illegal activities yet not stop the innovation process.

Conclusion

Even though momentarily Portugal does not have any legal restrictions for the virtual assets industry, the country’s financial regulators keep observing the market and might soon bring on specific legislation for controlling cryptocurrencies and crypto-asset operators.

If you are planning on registering a cryptocurrency exchange in Portugal or seeking legal advice about virtual assets there, COREDO is prepared to offer legal support on these issues and tell you more about virtual currencies in Portugal.