Overview of crypto regulations

How are crypto exchanges regulated in the Cayman Islands?


  • They may be regulated as "virtual asset trading platforms" under the Virtual Asset (Service Providers) Law, 2020. This requires a licence from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA).

    According to CIMA (VASP Law)
    last revised 25 May 2020

    (2) For the purposes of this Law, “virtual asset trading platform” means a centralized or decentralized digital platform —

    (a) which facilitates the exchange of virtual assets for fiat currency or other virtual assets on behalf of third parties for a fee, commission, spread or other benefit; and

    (b) which —
    (i) holds custody of or controls virtual assets on behalf of its clients to facilitate an exchange; or (ii) purchases virtual assets from a seller when transactions or bids and offers are matched in order to sell them to a buyer,

    and includes its owner or operator, but does not include a platform that only provides a forum where sellers and buyers may post bids and offers and a forum where the parties trade in a separate platform or in a peer-to-peer manner.



    Registration or licence required
    4. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a person shall not carry on, or purport to carry on, virtual asset service in or from within the Islands unless that person —
    ...
    (b) in the case of the provision of virtual asset custodial services or the operation of a virtual asset trading platform, holds a virtual asset service licence;