The recent Portuguese transposition of the Fifth Directive on AML* has a direct impact on cryptocurrency businesses.

In addition to extensive AML and KYC procedures being enforced on some crypto businesses, regulatory registration is now required.

This Directive is the latest European Union legal framework governing the measures against the use of the financial system for money laundering or terrorist financing purposes.

The new law’s scope expands the scope of compliance requirements and creates new obligations to be adopted by entities operating with virtual assets. The new legal framework provides for the mandatory registration of such entities with the Bank of Portugal, regardless of other licensing requirements.

Virtual assets, such as cryptocurrencies, include any form of digital representation of value, not connected to a legal currency, lacking the legal status of fiat currency/legal tender. The new regulations apply to custodians of assets, exchanges, and some wallet services. Entities operating without such registration are in breach of law.

*Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018


This publication or document contains general information and is not intended to be comprehensive nor to provide legal or tax advice or services. It should not be acted on or relied upon or used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect you or your business. Professional legal advice should be requested for specific cases. We do not undertake any continuing obligation to advise on future legal amendments, or of the impact on the conclusions herein. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. The contents of this publication or document may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the express consent of GFDL.

Contact us

GFDL Advogados assists both individuals and companies regarding doing business, investing, and moving to Portugal. For more information contact us.

GFDL is an international law firm based in Lisbon. We advise corporations and individuals with complex needs and innovative projects.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store