There are no specific laws in Portugal regarding virtual assets, cryptocurrency exchanges, e-wallets & virtual asset operators. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s no regulation in the market of virtual assets.
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Given the lack of certainty regarding virtual assets & virtual assets operators, Portuguese financial regulators have come up with a number of press releases detailing uncertainties & risks connected with virtual assets, including supervision of ICO in Portugal.
2013 saw Bop issue a press release warning potential investors of the risks involved in owning & investing in cryptocurrencies, and indicating that the bank has no control over them. In 2014, it announced that Bitcoin cash machines couldn’t be regarded as part of Portugal’s payment system, and cautioned against potential risks involved in investing in virtual assets in the state of Portugal. That statement was followed by another press release focusing on the risks of owning & investing in virtual assets in Portugal, and also indicating that virtual assets may not be considered legal tender in the state of Portugal. The same month saw BoP recommend that Portuguese lending & payment establishments refrain from purchasing & selling virtual assets in the state of Portugal.
2017 saw CMVM issue a press release focusing on the risks involved in investing in crypto assets in the state of Portugal. The press release said that virtual assets aren’t regulated and, therefore, cannot be supervised by CMVM. The following year saw CMVM come up with one more press release containing legal recommendations on evaluation of virtual assets. Later that year, another press release was issued which focused on the legal aspects of holding ICOs in the state of Portugal.
In 2018, the National Council for Financial Supervision also came up with its own press release detailing potential risks of investing in crypto assets in the state of Portugal.
Due to the great interest shown by the Portuguese government & regulators in virtual assets, special task forces were created charged with looking into potential opportunities & risks stemming from fintech innovations in Portugal’s financial sector.
Recent years have seen increasingly more initiatives emerging with regard to the purchase & sale of virtual assets in the state of Portugal & ICO regulation in the Portuguese jurisdiction. Starting from 2017, a number of Portuguese companies have been launching ICOs in the state of Portugal, although most of them did the same thing in other jurisdictions earlier on.
Because the market of crypto assets in Portugal is still evolving, Portuguese financial regulators are trying hard to clarify issues related to operations with crypto assets. It is hoped that this will help reduce potential risks for consumers & prevent illegal activities without detriment to innovation.
No specific laws regarding virtual assets have been implemented in Portugal yet. However, Portuguese financial regulators are constantly monitoring the market of cryptocurrencies. And it is possible that they will come up with special legislation regulating crypto asset operators & cryptocurrency exchanges.
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