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Central Bank: No licenses given to cryptocurrency operators

The Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) has warned the public that no license has been granted to any cryptocurrency operators. This comes after a Grand Bahama crypto-asset firm VirSymCoin (VSC) revealed it is having an initial coin offering (ICO).

On Friday VSC, founded and chaired by Bahamian entrepreneur Dario Roberts, hosted a meeting for people interested accessing all things crypto.

According to the Central Bank in a press release on Thursday, no financial regulator in The Bahamas has given the go-ahead for companies to “offer digital currency, or to provide such services such as cryptocurrency exchanges, crypto loans or crypto and fiat processing in or from within The Bahamas”.

The bank further added that people investing in crypto products will be doing so “at their own risk”.

CBOB explained in its release that cryptocurrencies or virtual currencies are not legal tender in The Bahamas.

The bank’s release added: “The Central Bank neither issues nor backs virtual currencies. Cryptocurrencies are not foreign currencies as there is no government or central bank that issues or backs them, the Central Bank does not regulate or supervise virtual currencies, nor has the bank authorized any entity to operate a virtual currency platform.”

CBOB suggested people seek professional advice on savings and investment vehicles from “legitimate and licensed financial institutions”.

According to a VSC release the company is a “blockchain-based platform empowered by smart contracts”.

“It not only acts as a bank by offering easy deposits, payments and lending services, cross-border payments and ATM facility/convenient withdrawals, but also as a cryptocurrency exchange for the business and consumer world. In July 2018, the VSC team unveiled its cryptocurrency platform at the country’s first ever Bahamas Blockchain Conference,” the release states.

“Held under the auspices of Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, the conference featured some of the world’s brightest minds and leading personalities in the cryptocurrency sphere. Now, just two months later, the company has positioned itself to become the premier blockchain-based crypto-asset in the country,” the release points out.

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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