Bison Bank leads the way: it has become the first monetary organisation authorised by the Central Bank to provide cryptocurrency trading opportunities to customers.

This is an important step for Lisbon, which with the granting of the first crypto licence to a bank in the country continues on its path to becoming one of the most important European players in the sector.

Brison Bank, which provides a wide range of asset management, custody and safekeeping services, as well as investment banking to private and institutional clients through a platform that acts as a bridge between the European and Asian markets, will receive the licence.

Based in Lisbon, Bison Bank was called Banco de Investimento SA (Banif) until 2018. At the time, Chinese company Bison Capital Holding acquired the company and renamed it.

The bank has made it clear that it will offer “a new and broader set of products and services” to respond to customers’ growing interest in digital assets and will set up a dedicated sector called “Bison Digital Assets” to enable the exchange and custody of cryptocurrencies.

In Portugal, cryptocurrency transactions are exempt from VAT or other taxes such as personal income tax.

The nation’s financial authorities see bitcoin and altcoins as a form of payment rather than assets. As such the country has positioned itself as a cryptocurrency hub for digital nomads and it seems that in the western island of Madeira the conditions are in place for Bitcoin to be adopted as legal tender, as well as avoiding residents having to pay capital gains when trading cryptocurrencies.

Steps towards adoption just a few kilometres from Italy.