The Central Bank of Cuba legalizes Bitcoin and cryptocurrency services

As of today Cuba authorizes services and platforms for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, through legislation that regulates the issuance of licenses to companies wishing to carry out exchange activities as business.

According to the Ordinary Official Gazette No. 43, which includes a resolution of the Central Bank of Cuba, this entity provides that natural or legal persons wishing to operate services with bitcoins and virtual assets, must opt ​​for a license with the agency.

“Establish the specific requirements for the authorization, operation, regulation, supervision, monitoring, remedial mechanisms and cancellation of licenses for virtual asset service providers operating in and from the national territory” .

In order to carry out activities as virtual asset service providers, natural or legal persons apply for a license from the Central Bank of Cuba. When examining the license application, the Central Bank of Cuba assesses the legality, expediency and socio-economic interest of the initiative, the characteristics of the project, the responsibility of the applicants and their experience in the activity. The Central Bank of Cuba issues the license, after consultation with the Cryptoassets Group”.

Official Gazette of the Central Bank of Cuba

Likewise, it is established that entities that do not operate under this license and who must do so, will face sanctions according to the banking and financial regulations already in force in the country.

Thus, the Gazette indicates that this resolution will come into force 20 days after its publication, that is to say from Monday, May 16. It also establishes that licenses can be extended for a second year.

“Licenses as virtual asset service providers are approved for a period of one year, extendable for a second year, given the experimental and novel nature of this type of activity.”

Official Gazette of the Central Bank of Cuba

It also highlights, among the provisions of the bank, that operators cannot stop their services without the authorization of the central entity. “Virtual asset service providers cannot cease operations without authorization from the Central Bank of Cuba“, can we read in the document.

Cuba Heads for Bitcoin Adoption

On September 15, 2021, cryptocurrencies were authorized as a means of payment. At the time, the central bank was designated as the only entity authorized to issue licenses, although the institution had concerns about the risks associated with the use of cryptocurrencies.

Thus, Cuba is taking a step closer to adopting bitcoin and its industry, even though its policies have always focused on economic restrictions.

With this new legislation, local companies could start to emerge to operate with cryptocurrencies, as well as foreign companies wishing to provide their services in the Caribbean country.

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