Cuba is ruled by the Communist Party. According to reports, citizens here cannot use internationally accepted debit and credit cards due to US sanctions. Paypal, Revolut, and Zelle are all banned in this area. This is the reason why now the use of cryptocurrency is increasing here as a payment option.
NBC News spoke to some of the people in its recent report. One of them is Nelson Rodriguez, who owns a cafe in Cuba. They now accept both Bitcoin and Ethereum for payment. He said that he believes in the philosophy of crypto. It is something that works on the fight against free markets, property rights, borderlessness and censorship.
Recently the Central Bank of Cuba has announced that it will start issuing licenses to virtual asset service providers from this month. Significantly, there was discussion in Cuba about whether to legalize cryptocurrency for payment in the country. As Nelson Rodriguez says, digital currencies simply mean that the restrictions imposed on them do not matter, because payment service providers are no longer necessary for us.
Along with the common people of Cuba, celebrities are also turning to crypto. Cuban musician Ernesto Cisneros lost his business due to the COVID-19 pandemic and sanctions. He turned to NFT. He now stores his music, videos and photos on the chain and earns money by selling them online.
The report states that while the use of cryptocurrencies in Cuba’s small shops can bypass the economic sanctions imposed on the country to some extent, Chainalysis claims that it is not entirely feasible for governments. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao also says that using crypto to combat sanctions is a myth. He says crypto is easy to trace and world governments can track crypto transactions.