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Is Cuba Following El Salvador? Govt Plans To Recognize Crypto Payments

Is Cuba Following El Salvador? Govt Plans To Recognize Crypto Payments

With the growing popularity of crypto payments all over the Cuban island, government authorities have announced that they are planning to assert recognition of crypto payments and impose a framework of regulations to oversee them. 

Cuban Government Announces Crypto Plans

The news of the government’s plans was announced via a resolution published in the Official Gazette, which also clarified that the Central Bank would take the responsibility to determine the regulations governing cryptocurrencies. The bank will also establish a plan of action to register and license crypto service providers in the country. The announcement further declared that the Central Bank would be authorizing crypto payments only for reasons of “socio-economic interest.” However, the state would be overseeing all crypto operations and ensuring that they are controlled and not involved in illegal activities.  

Cuba Going The El Salvador Way?

It might appear that Cuba is setting forth on the blazing trail left by El Salvador, which became the first country in the world to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender. The popularity of crypto payments in these South American countries has grown especially following the strict embargo imposed upon them under former President Donald Trump. These currencies, which generally function free from the oversight of central banks, are being used in these countries to sidestep the strict embargo laws. Cryptocurrencies are predominantly being used in matters of sending remittances from the US to Cuba. 

Bitcoin In Cuba

There has been widespread use of Bitcoin in Cuba recently. Brazil-based Cuban expat Claudia Rodriguez operates a crypto exchange that provided service to nearly 7,000 Cuban user accounts by November 2019. In addition, Cuban YouTube influencer and crypto expert Erich Garcia has spoken on the matter in several videos on his channel. He has talked about how many Cubans are already using gift cards for online payments to navigate the heavy embargo since they do not have access to Visa or Mastercard. 

Back in 2019, the country's Communist government announced on state-run TV that it was considering cryptocurrencies as part of a package targeting to increase incomes and support market reforms. An estimated 50,000 Cubans are using crypto among the total population of 11.3 million, which is still a small percentage of Bitcoin users. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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