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Central Bank of Cuba announces it will issue licenses for virtual asset service providers

Central Bank of Cuba announces it will issue licenses for virtual asset service providers
Jordan Major

Banco Central de Cuba (BCC), the nation’s central bank, announced on April 26 that it would issue licenses for virtual asset service providers (VASPs).

As per the Gaceta Oficial, No. 43, published on Tuesday, April 26, which contains the Central Bank of Cuba resolution, anybody wishing to offer virtual-asset-related services must first get a license from the BCC.

Finbold first reported in August 2021 that according to Resolution 215 published by the state-run Gaceta Oficial, the country’s central bank was set to roll out new rules on how to deal with crypto assets. That move meant that commercial providers of related services were required to secure a license to operate from the central bank.

“The Central Bank of Cuba regulates the use of certain virtual assets in commercial transactions, as well as the granting of licenses. service providers of virtual assets for operations related to financial, foreign exchange and collection or payment activities, in and from the national territory.”

How will the Central Bank of Cuba consider a license?

In order to carry out activities as virtual asset service providers, natural or legal persons must request a license from the Central Bank of Cuba.

According to the BCC:

“The Central Bank of Cuba, when considering the license request, evaluates the legality, opportunity and socioeconomic interest of the initiative, the characteristics of the project, the responsibility of the applicants, and their experience in the activity.”

The document also states that firms that do not operate under this license but which are compelled to do so will be subject to fines in accordance with the island nation’s current banking and financial regulations.

The Gaceta further specifies that this judgment will become effective 20 days after it is published, which will occur on May 16. 

“Virtual asset service provider licenses are approved for a one-year period, extendable for a second year, given the experimental and novel nature of this type of activity.”

Currently, the BCC has mandated that government agencies should not use virtual assets in transactions, except in situations approved by it. At the same time, as things stand, the resolution does not explain how the Cuban government would impose taxes on the virtual asset activities. 

This marks another step in Latin America’s growing shift towards cryptocurrencies; Finbold also reported on April 27 that the Mexican Senate building has just got its own Bitcoin ATM as the country braces to regulate crypto.

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