Crypto Trading in Portugal Gains Speed

Trading of cryptocurrencies in Portugal takes off as the moods about digital transactions in the country are changing, analyses tax attorney Selva Ozelli.

by Viko
28 January • 3 min
In News
In November 2017, Hélder Rosalino, director at Portugal’s central bank said he didn’t consider cryptocurrencies to be a legal form of trading and suggested that the bank itself shares the same opinion.

About a month later, Portugal’s finance minister, Mario Centeno, stated that it was time to consider a Europe-wide regulation about cryptocurrencies. In January, Centeno was elected president the Eurogroup, which comprises 19 EU finance ministers. His counterparts from France, Germany and the UK have insisted that global cryptocurrency regulation is discussed at the upcoming G20 meeting in Argentina in March.

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Meanwhile, Banco Santander-Portugal, the country’s fourth-largest lender, succumbed to customer pressure and lifted its ban on crypto trading. The ban was imposed in December, following the huge volatility in Bitcoin’s price. But clients were furious that the bank is shying away from the financial innovations and ignoring the worldwide trend of trading in the blockchain.

Jose Luis Calderon, head of Santander Global Transaction Banking, said the bank is committed to setting up an international blockchain payment ecosystem, using RippleNet, the fastest growing system for quick and cheap online money transfers. The UK unit of Santander is already collaborating with American Express and RippleNet, allowing American Express' US clients to make instant payments using the blockchain network to UK counterparts. Back in November, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said the company was looking to expand this partnership.

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Ripple has more than 100 banks and payment networks as customers worldwide, according to its website.

Another good news for the Portuguese crypto fans is that their gains from cryptocurrency trading are not subject to personal income tax, making the country some kind of a “crypto paradise”.