In August of last year, the Official Gazette number 215 of the Central Bank of Cuba was published, which “establishes the rules from which the Central Bank of Cuba regulates the use of certain virtual assets (like crypto) in commercial transactions, as well as the granting of licenses to providers of virtual asset services (cryptoactive, cryptocurrencies and virtual currency) for operations related to financial, foreign exchange and collection or payment activities, in and from the national territory”.
Now, a new legal document, Resolution 89/2022, published yesterday in the Official Gazette number 43, establishes the specific requirements “for the authorization, operation, regulation, supervision, surveillance, corrective mechanisms and cancellation of licenses for service providers of virtual assets that operate in and from the national territory”.
Central Bank permission
One of the first articles clarifies that to carry out activities as providers of virtual asset services, “natural or legal persons request a license from the Central Bank of Cuba.” What is centralized in this entity is the decision-making in relation to the licenses to exchanges and other crypto services.
It adds: “When considering the license application, the Central Bank of Cuba evaluates the legality, opportunity and socioeconomic interest of the initiative, the characteristics of the project, the responsibility of the applicants, and their experience in the activity.”
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It also says that the central bank issues the license after consulting the Crypto Assets Group.
Other attributions are: “The Central Bank of Cuba establishes in the license the characteristics of virtual assets, the conditions, and restrictions of authorized operations, as well as the measures to be fulfilled for the control and custody of virtual assets.”
It highlights that if the entity or person has a license in a different jurisdiction, it must request a specific license to operate in Cuba.
However, it clarifies that “exceptionally, due to state interest, the Central Bank of Cuba can grant a license without fulfilling this requirement.”
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In addition, legal entities domiciled in the national territory must request a license to operate in Cuba, even if they have a license from another jurisdiction.
The requirements to obtain the license are established in the Gazette, documents that must be in Spanish.
It adds that, once the application has been submitted with the collections, the Central Bank of Cuba grants the license or denies it by means of a letter addressed to the applicant “within a period that in its entirety does not exceed ninety business days counted from the date of receipt of the required documentation.
The resolution establishes that, in order to obtain the license, the approval of the General Directorate of Investigation of Financial Operations of the Central Bank of Cuba is necessary on the procedures presented by the applicant.
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It indicates that “the licenses as providers of virtual asset services are approved for a period of one year, extendable for a second year, given the experimental and innovative nature of this type of activity.”
Likewise, it ratifies that virtual asset service providers “operate only with virtual assets approved by the Central Bank of Cuba, by means of a license.”
In addition, providers of virtual asset services must register in the Registry of Obligated Subjects of the strategy for the prevention, detection, and confrontation of money laundering, financing of terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons.