- Over 100,000 Cubans have turned to cryptocurrencies for their everyday financial transactions, as well as for international business transfers. Despite Cuba’s never-ending internet problems, it seems that blockchain-based currencies are being swiftly adopted.
Crypto Thriving in a Place Where Being Online Is Not That Simple
Flagrant attempts at censorship left a lot of Cubans without internet connections as recently as last summer. To make matters worse, Cubans faced further disruption in March after as accidental fiber cut in the capital city, Havana. Moreover, mobile internet in Cuba was set up just three years ago, but it seems that the provision of a mobile internet connection has been the turning point in this story, as Cubans finally got a grip on their freedom.
Cryptocurrencies Giving Cubans a Sense of Financial Freedom
The harsh sanctions introduced by the U.S. have had a heavy burden on many of the country’s citizens, and this is why an independent monetary technology like blockchain could be the ideal solution to their problems.
Nelson Rodriguez, a local business owner, explained in a recent NBC interview that there’s a clash of two opposite perspectives, which has thus led to the increased use of crypto. “I like crypto, because I believe in the philosophy”, Rodriguez says, referring to the idea of sovereignty, decentralizaton, and being able to freely store and trade funds without fearing that the local government will implement vague taxes or simply ban the technology.
Popular payment systems like PayPal, Revolut, Zelle, and many other worldwide electronic wallets are either banned by the Cuban government, or sanctioned by the U.S.
Cuban Government Favors the Idea of Crypto-Based Economy
The Cuban government has recently begun putting a legal framework into place for crypto service providers and transactions. From April 2022, those who want to use cryptocurrencies must first acquire a licence from the Central bank in Havana. The bank will consider socioeconomic and legal nuances, and then either approve or deny a one-year licence. In this way, the government hopes to be able to revive international trade, while citizens can move more freely through the use of crypto wallets, instead of major credit cards and electronic payment systems.