Central Bank of Cuba legalizes Bitcoin services and virtual assets

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HAVANA, April 27th As of, April 26, 2022, Cuba authorizes bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrency services and platforms, through legislation that regulates the granting of licenses to companies that wish to carry out exchange activities as a business.

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

«Establish the specific requirements for the authorization, operation, regulation, supervision, surveillance, corrective mechanisms and cancellation of licenses for virtual asset service providers that operate in and from the national territory.

To carry out activities as virtual asset service providers, natural or legal persons request a license from the Central Bank of Cuba. 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 Central Bank of Cuba issues the license, after consulting the Cryptoactive Group.”

Official Gazette of the Central Bank of Cuba

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

The Central Bank is the only entity authorized in Cuba to issue bitcoin licenses and virtual assets. Source: Facebook of the Central Bank of Cuba.

Thus, the Gazette provides that this resolution will enter into force 20 days after its publication, that is, from next Monday, May 16. It is also established that the licenses will be extendable for a second year.

«The licenses as providers of virtual asset services are approved for a period of one year, extendable for a second year, given the experimental and innovative nature of this type of activity.»

Official Gazette of the Central Bank of Cuba

It also stands out among the bank’s provisions that the operators cannot stop their services without authorization from the central entity. “Virtual asset service providers cannot cease their operations without authorization from the Central Bank of Cuba,” reads the document.

Cuba moves towards the adoption of Bitcoin

By September 15, 2021, cryptocurrencies were authorized as a payment method, as reported by CriptoNoticias. At that time, the central bank was designated as the only entity authorized to issue licenses, even though the institution had concerns about the risks of using cryptocurrencies.

In this way, Cuba takes another step forward to adopt bitcoin and its industry despite the fact that historically its policies have been oriented toward economic restrictions.

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


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