Cuba will accept crypto currencies by October

By Raffaele Redi

The Central Bank of Cuba will grant the license to virtual asset service providers.

Vintage classic American car in Havana, Cuba                                 
The Cuban government has said it will accept cryptocurrencies for “reasons of socio-economic interest” – Photo: Shutterstock

The Cuban government has announced it will recognise and regulate cryptocurrencies for “reasons of socio-economic interest” by next October.

According to Resolution 215, published in the state-run Extraordinary Official Gazette No 73, Cuba’s central bank will “authorise the use of certain virtual assets in commercial transactions and grant the license to virtual-asset service providers for operations related to the financial, exchange and collection or payment activity”.

Cuba’s decision followed a recent similar move from El Salvador aimed to circumvent the US sanctions regime put in place under President Joe Biden.

Cubans’ need for cash

As the US embargo left some residents cashless, bitcoins and other cryptos are already being used on the island as a method of payment. However, Cubans have no access to electronic cards.

Cubans who migrated to the US or overseas can utilise cryptos to transfer money to their family on the island via a few South American exchanges.

“Not many Cubans are willing to sell their crypto assets, but you can get sellers who own virtual currencies due to purchases they have made abroad or that were made by relatives abroad who buy them for them,” explained Erich J Garcia Cruz, a Cuban Youtuber who promotes the use of bitcoins.

Resolution 215

Resolution 215, which is coming into force in the next 20 days, establishes that: “Financial institutions and other legal entities can only use virtual assets among themselves and with natural persons, to carry out commercial monetary operations, and exchange and redemption; as well as to satisfy pecuniary obligations when authorised by the Central Bank of Cuba.”

The Central Bank of Cuba (BCC) also warned residents about the insecurity and the risks related to using cryptos: “Given the insecurity and the risks that lead to scams with assets in wallets through cyberspace, the BCC delisted any criminal activity with these cryptocurrencies.”

“Natural persons assume the risks and responsibilities that in the civil and criminal order derive from operating with virtual assets and virtual-asset service providers that operate outside the Banking and Financial System, even when transactions with virtual assets are not prohibited. between said persons,” it added. 

Further reading: Cryptocurrency adoption soars, but US and China fall back 

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