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Cuba approves cryptocurrency services, requires central bank license

Havana, April 27 (Reuters)-Central Bank of Cuba announced regulations for virtual asset service providers on Tuesday. US sanctions.

Cryptocurrencies, which can perform financial operations in a decentralized and anonymous manner, have been used in the past to circumvent capital restrictions and make payments and remittances more efficient.

The bank’s approval, published in the official government bulletin on Tuesday, requires someone who wishes to obtain a license using cryptocurrencies.

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The bank said it would consider the legality of the request, socio-economic benefits, and the characteristics of the project before granting the license. The license is initially valid for one year.

The rollout of the mobile internet three years ago paves the way for cryptocurrency trading in Cuba and is increasing island enthusiasts as it helps currencies overcome obstacles caused by US sanctions.

The representation of the virtual cryptocurrency Bitcoin can be seen in the figure in this photo taken on October 19, 2021. REUTERS / Edgar Su

The US embargo decades ago separated Cubans from traditional international payment systems and financial markets. Cubans do not have access to credit or debit cards for international use on the island and are having a hard time getting them abroad.

Pavel Vidal, a former Central Bank of Cuba economist who teaches at the University of Pontificia Jaberiana Cali in Colombia, said, “It is the country that the central bank is creating a crypto-friendly legal framework. It has already been decided that it can bring benefits to the bank. “

Some of Cuba’s Latin American neighbors are interested in cryptocurrencies, including El Salvador, the world’s first country to adopt Bitcoin as fiat currency.

Mr Vidal suspected that Cuba would become another El Salvador, choosing Bitcoin or coming up with its own cryptocurrency, but the government said it would encourage remittances and the entry of international trade operations. He said he was thinking.

“This can reduce the cost of these international transactions, make them less susceptible to sanctions schemes, and create an alternative to operating in dollars,” he said.

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Report by Mark Frank; edited by David Sherwood and Rosalba O’Brien

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters trusts the principles.


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