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Cuba Regulates the Use of Virtual Assets for Commercial Transactions

In a resolution, the country’s central bank also stipulated rules for granting licenses to institutions handling cryptocurrencies.

Aug 27, 2021 at 3:53 a.m. UTC
Updated Aug 27, 2021 at 3:05 p.m. UTC

The Central Bank of Cuba issued a resolution establishing rules to regulate the use of virtual assets in commercial transactions and licensing of service providers in that sector.

In the resolution published Thursday, the central bank, which is known as the BCC, said it may authorize, for reasons of socioeconomic interest, the use of certain virtual assets in commercial transactions and license virtual asset service providers to allow them to conduct certain financial activities, such as collecting payments.

“Financial institutions and other legal entities may only use virtual assets among themselves and with natural persons to carry out monetary and mercantile operations, and exchange and swap transactions, as well as to satisfy pecuniary obligations,” the bank said.

The central bank detailed that a virtual asset is understood as “the digital representation of value that can be traded or transferred digitally and used for payments or investments.”

The BCC also clarified that “persons assume the civil and criminal risks and liabilities derived from operating with virtual assets and service providers that operate outside the banking and financial system, even though transactions with virtual assets between these persons are not prohibited.”

On the other hand, the resolution stipulated that government agencies must refrain from using virtual assets in transactions, except in cases authorized by the Central Bank of Cuba.

According to the BCC, even when such virtual assets and the providers of such services operate outside of the banking and financial system, their management implies risks for monetary policy and financial stability because of the volatility that characterizes digital currencies and their use in data networks in cyberspace.

The BCC also said that cryptocurrencies carry the risks of being used to finance criminal activities because of their anonymous nature.

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