The Banco Central de Cuba (BCC), the national central bank in Cuba, announced last April 26th that it would issue licenses for virtual asset providers (VASPs). According to Gaceta Oficial No. 43, anyone who wants to offer services related to virtual assets must first obtain a license from the BCC.
As early as August 2021, the country's central bank was set to introduce new rules for dealing with crypto assets. The move meant that commercial related service providers had to obtain a license from the central bank. In order for natural or legal persons to carry out activities as providers of virtual asset services, they must apply to the Central Bank of Cuba for a license.
According to BCC:
“CENTRAL BANK OF CUBA EVALUATES THE LEGALITY, OPPORTUNITY AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC INTEREST OF THE INITIATIVE, PROJECT CHARACTERISTICS, APPLICANTS 'RESPONSIBILITY AND THEIR EXPERIENCE IN ASSESSING THE LICENSE APPLICATION.
The document also states that companies that do not operate under this license, but which are forced to do so, will be subject to fines according with the current banking and financial regulations.
Gaceta further states that this judgment will take effect 20 days after its publication, which will take place on 16 May.
"VIRTUAL ASSET SERVICE PROVIDER LICENSES ARE APPROVED FOR A SINGLE YEAR PERIOD WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF EXTENSION FOR THE SECOND YEAR, DUE TO THE EXPERIMENTAL AND FRIENDLY NATURE OF THIS TYPE OF ACTIVITY."
Currently, the BCC has ordered government agencies not to use virtual assets in transactions. The current state of the resolution does not explain how the Cuban government would impose taxes on virtual asset activities. This represents another step in Latin America's growing shift towards cryptocurrency adoption.