Resolution 215/2021 of the Central Bank of Cuba (BCC) that recognizes payments of bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies on the island, has entered into force this Wednesday, September 15 after its publication in the Official Gazette last 26 of August. The application of this new regulatory framework also establishes the granting of licenses to digital asset service providers that operate throughout the national territory.
As detailed by the BCC, the objective of this new standard is to enable the use of “certain virtual assets in commercial transactions.” It also clarifies that it is the only entity that authorizes financial institutions and other legal entities so that they can use crypto assets between them.
Bodies of the Central State Administration, political, social organizations or other institutions may not use digital assets without the authorization of the Central financial entity .
From In accordance with the provisions of the regulations, the country will comply with the international standards regarding the prevention and detection of money laundering and terrorist financing established by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Cryptocurrencies represent risks: Cuba’s main concern
The BCC resolution alerts those who decide to use cryptocurrencies, that they represent «risks to monetary policy and financial stability, due to their high volatility ». It also warns that these are assets “without the support of monetary authorities” and “excessive anonymity of registered users.”
These concerns appear to be the main factors driving the regulation. In fact, media in that country mention an alert made last May by Cuban President Miguel Díaz Canel. On that opportunity he referred to operations with cryptocurrencies that seek to maximize profits under schemes that could be fraudulent.
«The country has been evaluating the convenience of the use of cryptocurrencies to make decisions that are relevant. Now, what we are doing is preventing our population from being scammed by a group of events that are happening worldwide, “said Díaz Canel as a review in the publication.
As reported by CriptoNoticias, the BCC communicated in August its decision to regulate the use of “certain virtual assets in commercial transactions” throughout the country territory. However, the resolution leaves several aspects unclear, such as which cryptocurrencies can be used and which cannot, as well as the price that must be taken into account for operations.
Bitcoin can ease the pain of remittances for Cubans
The Communist Party of Cuba (PPC) had reported in April its decision to include bitcoin in the new economic guidelines for the period 2021 – 2026. At that time, a State official reported that the Caribbean nation will study the use of cryptocurrencies “in the current conditions of the economy.”
So far there is no certainty if this study has been carried out or not, but A recent publication by the American economist Steve Hanke shows that Cuba is among the nations that can profit from bitcoin. It is because the Caribbean country has the highest average commission payment for sending remittances , which is in the order of 10.53%.
In Cuba, remittances are the main source of income for the population. They are the result of the efforts of tens of thousands of exiles who send money to their relatives on the island to help them meet basic needs. In any case, bitcoin offers a fast and cheap way to send cross-border transfers without having to resort to traditional high-cost services.