All the exchanges that had their accounts terminated, including Criptoloja, Mind The Coin and Luso Digital Assets, were licensed by the Portuguese bank. Several leading banks in Portugal are closing bitcoin exchange accounts over “risk management” concerns, suggesting a turnaround in Portugal’s pro-crypto stance. Portugal’s central bank appears to have given financial institutions permission to act.

Several leading Portuguese banks recently canceled the accounts of CriptoLoja, the country’s first licensed cryptocurrency exchange. According to Bloomberg, BCP (Banco Comercial Portugues), Santander Bank, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, BiG and Abanca have closed accounts for at least four domestic bitcoin exchanges.

The Portuguese bank oversees local cryptocurrency trading platforms and has licensed all exchanges. Three of the exchanges have been named Criptoloja, Mind The Coin and Luso Digital Assets, with the fourth requesting that its name not be broadcast by media sites. Mário Centeno, head of Portugal’s central bank, said banks have unlimited flexibility to do what they want. Nevertheless, he promised to monitor the situation carefully.

The Bank of Portugal monitors stock exchanges to ensure they are fighting money laundering and terrorist financing and trying to avoid fraud. According to the BCP, its main responsibility is to inform the relevant authorities if it detects “strange transactions” that may lead to the termination of banking agreements with certain organizations.

The closure of these accounts is considered a hindrance to Portugal crypto-friendly given that the authorities had previously rejected two tax proposals that could have been applied to cryptocurrency investors. However, the government and the financial sector have recently shown greater interest in cryptocurrency regulation in line with other European Union countries.

Due to their perceived danger, cryptocurrency exchanges have difficulty gaining banking services around the world. According to Cointelegraph, US Senator Elizabeth Warren is reportedly proposing legislation that would effectively ban banks from providing bitcoin services.

The Iberian nation has attracted bitcoin entrepreneurs across Europe, particularly Ukrainians fleeing their home country’s problems. Before the military confrontation with Russia, there were approximately 27,000 Ukrainians in the Iberian nation. Nevertheless, their number has already climbed to almost 52,000, making them the second largest foreign population after Brazilians.

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