Bison Bank, a Portugal-based financial institution, has received a license from the Portuguese central bank (Banco de Portugal) to operate as a virtual asset service provider (VASP), Banco de Portugal announced Thursday.
- Bison Bank will create a special business division, Bison Digital Assets, to operate as a virtual asset exchange, according to Portuguese media outlet Sapo.
- The division is the first entity in Portugal owned by a bank to be authorized by Banco de Portugal to offer custodian and crypto trading services.
- Bison Bank provides wealth management, depositary and investment banking services to individuals and institutional clients, according to its website. It is owned by a Hong Kong-based Chinese private capital group.
- In March, Banco do Portugal granted the first full all-categories VASP license to Utrust, a Portugal-based on-chain crypto payments firm.
- In June, it licensed two cryptocurrency exchanges, Criptoloja and Mind The Coin, to operate as VASPs. The bank also granted a crypto exchange license to Luso Digital Assets.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.