Cuba rolled out mobile across the country last year, and this has resulted in increased usage of cryptocurrency. Most Cubans are increasingly using cryptocurrencies to circumvent economic sanctions levied by the US to access the global marketplace.
However, despite this increasing adoption, crypto still faces several challenges in Cuba. Some of the challenges include restricted access to cryptocurrency exchanges, lack of proper regulations, as well as the growing acceptance of the gold-backed MLM stablecoin.
Using Crypto to Circumvent Sanctions
A report published on September 12 by Reuters included passages from 35-year-old Cuban, Jason Sanchez, who indicated that cryptocurrencies were opening new opportunities for certain Cubans. Sanchez, who runs a cellular phone store, indicated that he uses Bitcoin (BTC) to purchase products online from China.
Cryptocurrencies are increasingly becoming popular in Cuba for various utilities. This is according to a Telegram group, CubaCripto, that boasts over 600 members and is one of the pioneers of crypto-oriented online communities in the country. The first utility of crypto that Cubans cited is the capability to avoid economic sanctions and buy products online. Other members of the group are seeking digital currencies for investment and trading purposes as they look to profit from the volatility of Bitcoin.
Although Bitcoin is experiencing price fluctuations, some residents are utilizing cryptocurrency as a way of storing value. Members of CubaCripto indicate that the privacy of crypto enables them to transact business easily because local government is less likely to trace them.
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Cubans Have Limited Access to Crypto Exchanges
Despite the growing adoption of cryptocurrency in Cuba, residents are limited from accessing most crypto exchanges. Recently, Binance DEX’s website blocked users from 29 countries, including those from Cuba. Equally in May last year, Bitrex updated terms to block Cubans, along with other countries sanctioned by the US. Around 19 exchanges out of 44 crypto exchanges restrict Cuban access.
However, as crypto adoption grows in Cuba, there are still no existing regulations to legitimize operations on the island. Because of the lack of regulations, Fusyona, which is the first crypto exchange in the country, has accreditation from Brazil.
Featured image: DepositPhotos © kmiragaya