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Cubans use cryptocurrencies to circumvent economic sanctions, US TV shows



At least 100,000 Cubans are using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in Cuba to circumvent US-imposed economic sanctions, according to a report by TV network NBC News published in video on Monday (02).

Now, with the government regulating the crypto sector, as was announced last week, even greater adoption could be on the way.

The TV network report shows images of a small establishment that already has support for receiving virtual currency on your cell phone.

A chalkboard reads “Crypto Welcome”; below, the Bitcoin logo also handwritten. The NBC reporter then pays for his consumption with Bitcoin within seconds.

“I love cryptocurrencies because I believe in their philosophy,” says the owner of the establishment, Nelson Rodriguez, to the reporter.

Years ago, however, the situation would have been quite different, as Cuba did not have a quality internet service. With the mobile internet and the regularization of brokers in the country, adoption has a great chance of being boosted.

Dodge sanctions

Cuba still lives under a communist regime and faces international sanctions, mainly from the US. There is therefore a need for more open currency technology, as many Cubans cannot use internationally accepted credit or debit cards due to sanctions.

Global payment services with PayPal, for example, also cannot be used by Cubans due to sanctions. Institutions such as JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank were fined last year for providing services in the country, the report says.

With cryptocurrencies, the Island can now gradually insert itself into the new international monetary system, the cryptoeconomy.

legalized brokers

Last week, the Central Bank of Cuba (BCC) announced that it will issue a license to cryptocurrency companies that wish to legally operate on the local foreign exchange market. The topic had already been discussed since the middle of last year.

Of the various requirements determined for interested companies — Cuban or foreign —, one question stands out: the BCC will only allow operations with cryptocurrencies approved by the entity.

“Virtual asset service providers — any individual or legal entity engaged in the exchange between virtual assets and fiat currencies — only operate with assets approved by the Central Bank of Cuba, under license,” the note points out

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