Cuban Central Bank to Issue Licenses to VASPs

The Cuban central bank, the Banco Central de Cuba (BCC), is ready to issue licenses for cryptocurrency providers and other virtual asset service providers (VASPs).

The Gazette announced that they will be in place for a year with an option to extend for another year.

  • Official Gazette No. 43 published the following resolution: 43, the BCC will issue licenses to individuals and organizations from both national and international countries.
  • BCC announced that approved licenses will now be valid for one-year after the new system was in place. A second year extension is possible due to the “experimental, novel nature” in the space.
  • There are no further details regarding the expiration of a license after two years.
  • The Caribbean central bank also stated that it will evaluate the legality, opportunity, as well as socioeconomic interest and characteristics of the project before granting a license request. It will also assess the “responsibility” of applicants and their “experience in this activity.”
  • According to the current resolution, organizations that operate without a license face sanctions in line with the banking and financial regulations in the country.
  • VASPs cannot terminate their services without permission from the BCC.
  • The resolution clarified that digital representations of fiat currencies, securities or other assets are not included in the virtual asset category.
  • The decision will take effect 20 days after publication (i.e. May 16).
  • This latest development is eight months after Miguel Diaz Canel, the Cuban President, was reported to have been looking into regulating and recognising cryptocurrencies for payment.
  • The government of the island country is open to exploring digital assets, despite taking a controlled approach to them. This is despite the fact that its economy continues to struggle following the recent pandemic and the harsher sanctions imposed under the former US President Donald Trump.