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Financial Services Commission clarifies Belize’s position on virtual assets and cryptocurrency

Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2023. 10:30 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Breaking Belize News has learned that contrary to previous reports, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) has not issued legal guidance for the use and trade of virtual assets including cryptocurrency.

On Friday, as we reported, Belize joined a group of countries worldwide in the OECD-created international standard for automatic exchange of information between tax authorities in countries with active cryptocurrency markets – the Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF).

An FSC notice sent to us indicates, “Belize currently has no legal framework for virtual assets, inclusive of Crypto-currency – as such the FSC has not issued a law, regulations, or guidelines for these types of activities.”

The FSC further referred us to its public notice of May 25, following the passage of the Financial Services Commission Act, Act No. 8 of 2023 in April, Section 81 bars business concerning virtual assets including cryptocurrency and fiat currencies, including negotiation, brokerage, exchange, transfer, loan, deposit, custody, safekeeping, management, administration, and others without a license and that such licenses under the same section, no such license will be issued for any activity or operation referred to earlier until the end of 2025.

The notice called on any person who was conducting such business before the commencement of the Act on April 15 to notify the Commission within a month (May 15) that it is carrying on such activity and within three months of commencement (July 15) cease such activity or operation and the Commission reserved the right to pursue criminal sanctions under Section 81(6) and (7) of the Act, in cases of violation related to this public notice.

 

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