Cuba to allow, but regulate virtual assets

Cuba’s Central Bank has issued a resolution detailing how to regulate the use of virtual assets in commercial transactions and licensing of service providers in the sector.

Cuban Central Bank resolution

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

In a resolution published on Thursday, 26th August, the Cuban Central Bank (BCC) stated that, taking the socio-economic interest into account, it may authorise the use of certain virtual assets in commercial transactions and license providers of such services for operations related to financial, exchange and collection or payment activities.

According to the Central Bank, “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.” All of the above can be done with the permission of the Central Bank.

BCC assumes no liability

The Central Bank also explained 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 states that government administration agencies should refrain from using virtual assets in transactions, except for cases authorised by the BCC.

According to Cuba’s Central Bank, even when virtual assets and service providers operate outside the banking and financial system, their management incurs certain risks for monetary policy and financial stability because of their high volatility. Their use in data networks is also deemed unsafe.

The Central Bank also affirmed that virtual assets might be dangerous, given their excessive user and transaction anonymity and how it can be used to finance illegal activity.

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