Cryptocurrency adoption is still growing on a global scale despite the market downturn. Cuba is the latest country to see more citizens using crypto.
Cubans are turning to cryptocurrencies in increasing numbers to circumvent sanctions imposed by the United States. An estimated 100,000 Cubans now use cryptocurrencies, according to an NBC report earlier this month.
The rollout of mobile internet three years ago has been the catalyst for the surge in crypto adoption. As a result, more café and small business owners are now accepting cryptocurrencies as payment methods.
The report added that most Cubans cannot use international credit or debit cards such as Visa or MasterCard. This is directly due to U.S. sanctions on the island nation. Payment platforms such as PayPal and Revolut are also banned in the country.
“See you later, we don’t need you anymore,” entrepreneur Erich Garcia told the news anchor regarding the payments companies. Local artists have also turned to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in an effort to bolster income battered by the pandemic.
International banks dealing with Cuba have been recently hit by steep fines. This means that making payments for goods and services has become a major hassle. In 2020, the Trump administration banned Americans from sending remittances to their families through Western Union. Furthermore, this was the primary method many Cuban Americans used to send money to their families.
“When Western Union ceased to exist, there was a big rise in remittances via cryptocurrencies,” Garcia added. Citizens turned to Telegram groups in order to facilitate peer-to-peer crypto transactions.
In late April, the Cuban central bank issued regulations for virtual asset service providers. This follows approval for the personal use of cryptocurrencies last year.
Others are turning to cryptocurrencies as a hedge against inflation, which is rampant in the country. Cuba’s inflation rate is currently 23.3%, a fall from the whopping 77.3% it was in December 2021.
El Salvador Buys the Dip
Cuba has yet to legalize Bitcoin as El Salvador has done. However, this could be in the cards. El Salvadorian president Nayib Bukele confirmed that he had “bought the dip” on May 9.
Bukele has increased the Central American country’s BTC stash by 500 coins at an average price of $30,744.
El Salvador just bought the dip! 🇸🇻
500 coins at an average USD price of ~$30,744 🥳#Bitcoin
— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) May 9, 2022
Bitcoin has lost 20% over the past week in a fall to its lowest level since July 2021. Furthermore, analysts are predicting that the pain is not over yet.
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