A cigar for Bitcoin? Cuba considers a legal framework for cryptocurrencies

Hasta the crypto siempre! – Cuba has initiated a movement which could potentially foster the growth of the nascent tech industry in the country. Banco Central de Cuba (BCC), the country’s central bank, will begin to issue licenses for Bitcoin (BTC) and certain Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs). This decision will come into effect on May 16, 2022.

VASPs arrive in Cuba

Official Gazette No. 43 of Tuesday April 26 published an important resolution. This resolution from the Central Bank of Cuba concerns Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Anyone wishing to provide services related to Virtual Assets must first acquire a license from the central bank.

“The Central Bank of Cuba, when examining the license application, 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. »

Publication of the Cuban Official Gazette No. 43 of April 26, 2022

The document states that organizations that do not operate under license and must do so will face penalties. Indeed, the banking and financial rules in force in the island nation will finally define a legal framework for cryptocurrencies. This decision will come into effect on May 16, 2022. The official gazette also revealed that the licenses would be extended for a second year.

“Virtual Asset Service Provider licenses are approved for a period of one year, renewable for a second year, given the experimental and novel nature of this type of activity. »

Publication of the Cuban Official Gazette No. 43 of April 26, 2022

Cubans’ dream of escape with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies – Source: Twitter

The newspaper also points out that VASPs cannot cease their services without the permission of the central bank.

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The BCC had already issued a decision that defined cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as a legal method of payment. The institution had also expressed reservations about the dangers of using crypto-assets. However, the central bank became the only entity authorized to grant licenses to VASPs.

Thanks to the legalization of virtual assets, Cubans can now benefit from more accessible remittance services. Now they also have the ability to send and receive funds freely in the whole world.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies: a way to escape the sanctions imposed on Cuba by the United States?
Cuba could face US sanctions thanks to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

These changes could potentially trigger new cultural waves in local technology development after 60 years of US sanctions. Indeed, under increasing pressure from Washington, global money transfer companies have left the country en masse.

The country is following a similar path to El Salvador and the central african republic by embracing bitcoin in the midst of the escalation of US sanctions and the economic impact of COVID-19. Virtual currencies put the financial sovereignty of many Cubans into perspective. Thereby crypto business interest in Cuba has grown steadily over the past two years.

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