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Restrictions imposed on virtual asset businesses
The Financial Services Commission Act in Belize outlines the certain following restrictions imposed on virtual asset businesses:
Restrictions on conducting virtual assets activities
Section 81(1) of the Financial Services Commission Act, Act No. 8 of 2023, establishes that a person, as a business, not licensed under the Act is prohibited from engaging in certain business activities in or from within Belize on behalf of others. These activities include:
(a) negotiating, brokering, or exchanging virtual assets with fiat currencies, whether the currency is the legal tender of Belize or any other country;
(b) negotiating, brokering, or exchanging virtual assets with one another;
(c) transferring virtual assets;
(d) engaging in the loan, deposit, custody, safekeeping, management, or administration of virtual assets or instruments that enable control over virtual assets; or
(e) participating in and providing financial services related to the issuance or sale of a virtual asset by an issuer.
In simpler terms, unless someone is licensed under the Act, they cannot conduct certain activities involving virtual assets on behalf of others.
Restrictions on licenses for virtual assets activities
Regardless of the provisions in the Financial Services Commission Act or any other laws, the Commission shall not issue a License for Financial Services Practitioners to any person, activity, or operation related to trading virtual assets, wallet service provider, and any activity set out in points (a) to (e) until after December 31st, 2025.
Any licenses issued before the Act’s commencement should not be interpreted as authorizing activities or operations covered from points (a) to (e).
Notice for existing virtual asset businesses in Belize
Given the restrictions mentioned earlier, any individual or business who before the commencement of the Act (April 15th, 2023), was carrying on an activity or operation referred to in point (a) to (e) above, must take the following steps:
(1) Within one month of the Act’s commencement, notify the Commission in writing at email@example.com about their ongoing activities; and
(2) Within three months of the Act’s commencement, stop conducting such activity or operation.
If your company failed to advise the Commission as per requirement (1) above, you must do so within one month of the date of the Restriction on Virtual Asset Activities – FSC/2/PN/012 Notice (May 25th, 2023).
Failure to comply with these requirements is considered an offense and may result in penalties according to the law.
With the Notice now in effect, individuals and businesses engaged in virtual asset activities prior to its commencement are obligated to notify the Belize Financial Services Commission and cease such activities within specified timeframes.
If you’re having any trouble understanding the requirements or complying with the Notice, feel free to contact our Support Team via firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Disclaimer: While BBCIncorp strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible, the information itself is for reference purposes only. You should not substitute the information provided in this article for competent legal advice. Feel free to contact BBCIncorp’s customer services for advice on your specific cases.
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