With the bitcoin (BTC) price, and in fact the entire crypto market, turning red, it is sometimes easy to forget that the underlying technology can still be important to many people. For example, look at Cuba. It is reported that 100,000 people there use digital currencies to run their business, thus the American NBC.
Crypto sideline US sanctions
Cuba has long been faced with severe US sanctions that prevented well-known payment providers from working there. Since the island finally got mobile internet three years ago, crypto adoption has accelerated.
The use of crypto is a direct result of the US sanctions. Now that cryptocurrencies can facilitate the payments, payment processors are no longer needed. As a result, the effect of the sanctions has also become less strong. Whether this is a good or bad development, we leave open. It is of course positive that the average Cuban can benefit from the solutions that crypto offers.
Nelson Rodriguez, owner of a cafe in Cuba, says he believes in the philosophy of crypto and you can buy a cup of coffee with bitcoin and ethereum (ETH) from him. That philosophy is quite at odds with how the communist government works on the island. Crypto makes it possible to actually own value, and payments can be made without a central party or the government.
Bitcoin not (yet) legal tender as in El Salvador
Nevertheless, Cuba seems to be embracing crypto with both arms. For example, it announced in 2021 that it wants to regulate the sector. A little later, Cuba officially recognized cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.
Despite the fact that about 100,000 Cubans now use crypto, the island has not yet made the move to make Bitcoin legal tender. Two countries have already done this, namely El Salvador and recently the Central African Republic.