Cuba now recognizes and regulates cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether saying that it’s a “reason of socio-economic interest.”
The country’s officials published “Resolution 215” on Thursday. The resolution was published in the state-run Official Gazette. Cuba’s central bank said that it will set new rules for how to deal with cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, commercial providers who are related to cryptos are now obliged to get a license from the central bank to continue operating.
Cuba follows El Salvador steps
Cuba followed El Salvador in embracing decentralized virtual currencies. That could help the country escape the U.S. sanctions which were made by President Trump and extended under now President Joe Biden.
“It’s historic that they are embracing it,” said Boaz Sobrado, a London-based fintech data analyst, who spent four years working in crypto in Cuba.
“This is a conservative government still set in traditional Marxist ways. In fact, the communist Cuban central bank was founded by Che Guevara. The fact that they are cautiously regulating shows they are interested in what it can bring them,” continued Boaz.
Since Trump applied sanctions, exchanging money between the U.S. and Cuba became one of the hardest things to do. According to Dr. Mrinalini Tankha, a professor of anthropology at Portland State University,
For instance, Western Union which operated in the country for over 20 years closed its 400 plus locations amid the sanctions. Furthermore, getting the money in and outside of the country became even more complicated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Consequently, the country switched to cryptocurrencies as an alternative to the mainstream money transfer methods.
“There is a kind of niche sector of people who have turned to cryptocurrency,” said Tankha.
“If you’re a software developer, or if you’re an NFT artist, you could actually get paid through cryptocurrency for your labor, and I think that’s where the potential actually is,” said Tankha. “It opens up a whole new economy for Cubans to participate in.”