Virtual asset service providers (VASP) that conducted virtual asset (VA) styled business prior to the coming into force of the BVI’s Virtual Asset Service Provider Act 2022 (the VASPA) on 1 February 2023 were given a six-month window in which to prepare and submit an application for registration to the BVI Financial Services Commission (the FSC). The six-month window expired on 31 July 2023.
Some important points to note are:
- Legacy VASPs that conducted VA-styled business prior to the coming into force of the VASPA and who submitted full and complete applications to the FSC before 31 July 2023 can continue to operate their business pending the determination of the filed application by the FSC. These legacy VASPs are deemed to be grandfathered under the VASPA regime.
- Applicants who are new to the VA regime and did not conduct VA-styled business prior to the coming into force of the VASPA should not be conducting VA business now but should be working to prepare and submit a registration application to the FSC for consideration and waiting for the FSC to render its decision on the application.
- It is vital that the VASPs applicants prepare comprehensive policy and procedure documents along with their business plans to ensure that the FSC, when reviewing, gets a thorough understanding of the existing/proposed business model.
- All VASPs will need to ensure that it has at least 2 directors, a compliance officer and a money laundering reporting officer, a VASPA-approved authorised representative and an auditor. VASPs are encouraged to check and vet their service providers to ensure they have the necessary experience to undertake the functions.
- For the moment, registration applications can be filed with the BVI FSC over email.
If you need help with helping to classify your entity as to whether it is a VASP or not, we have a free online solution for this; see here. Our most recent blog post on the VASPA can be accessed here.