What do you do when your country is hit by the American economic sanctions? Until a few years ago, your options were almost none. Countires had to comply with the US demands to escape terrible situations. Fortunately, today we have a tool: cryptocurrencies!
The latest country to use this tool against economic sanctions is Cuba. Taking a page out of Iran and Venezuela’s playbook, Cubans are using cryptocurrencies to transact with the rest of the world. They’re buying things from other countries, topping up their phones, sending remittances and making money by trading/investing – all with the help of crypto.
According to Alex Sobrino, the founder of CubaCripto Telegram group, there are an estimated 10,000 Cubans using crypto to live a normal life. The numbers may be much higher than this estimate because we’re talking about the data of one cryptocurrency group only. Cuba has a population of 11.2 millions.
It’s difficult only the first time
The only difficulty that someone in Cuba (or in any sanction hit country) encounters with crypto is buying it for the first time. Since they’re not issued international debit/credit cards, they can’t purchase cryptocurrencies from exchanges. So first time some of their friends/relatives living abroad purchases it for them.
Once they get their first installment of crypto, they’re in the game. Life becomes much easier from that point, thanks to the anonymous and censorship-resistant nature of crypto.
As more and more Cubans have started using crypto, even this first-time difficulty is starting to vanish. For instance, now many of the first time users buy crypto from their local residents via P2P transaction.
Legal status of crypto in Cuba
But this increasing use of cryptocurrency in Cuba doesn’t mean that they’re going to be legalized anytime soon. They’re still very much in a gray area. However, the Cuban government has also said that it’s considering the use of crypto like Iran and Venezuela to bypass economic sanctions. And there’s hardly anything that the US can do about it (at least for now).
May you live long: Cypto, Bitcoin, and Satoshi Nakamoto!