Registration of virtual assets service providers
The Banco de Portugal is the Portuguese competent authority responsible for registering entities intending to act as virtual assets service providers and verifying compliance with the legal and regulatory provisions governing the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT).
Banco de Portugal’s supervision regarding virtual assets service providers, as determined by Law No 83/2017 of 18 August 2017, is limited to AML/CFT purposes, and does not extend to other areas of a prudential, market conduct or any other nature.
Activities with virtual assets subject to registration with the Banco de Portugal and regulated in Portuguese territory
When carried out within Portuguese territory, the following activities or operations with virtual assets are subject to prior registration with the Banco de Portugal, including where the applicant exercises another profession or activity covered by Law No 83/2017 of 18 August 2017:
- exchange services between virtual assets and fiat currencies or between one or more forms of virtual assets;
- transfer services of virtual assets;
- safekeeping and/or administration of virtual assets or instruments that enable the control, ownership, storage or transfer of such assets, including private encrypted keys.
The following persons or entities are considered to operate within Portuguese territory:
- legal persons or entities treated as legal persons incorporated in Portugal for the pursuit of activities with virtual assets;
- natural or legal persons or entities treated as legal persons with domicile or establishment in Portugal engaged in activities with virtual assets;
- other natural or legal persons or entities treated as legal persons which, due to the pursuit of activities with virtual assets, are obliged to declare their activity to the Portuguese tax authorities.
Article 112-A of Law No 83/2017 and Notice of the Banco de Portugal No 3/2021of 23 April 2021 (“Notice No 3/2021”) regulate the registration process with the Banco de Portugal of entities that intend to carry out, within Portuguese territory, activities with virtual assets subject to registration, as well as subsequent changes to the elements to be registered.
Applications for initial registration and subsequent changes must be submitted by completing the following forms (accompanied by the appropriate supporting documentation), to be submitted to the Banco de Portugal in accordance with Article 6(3) to (6) of Notice No 3/2021.
The list of virtual asset service providers registered with the Banco de Portugal can be found here.