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Cubans resort to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to bypass U.S. sanctions

  • Internet connect has opened the way for Cubans to interact with the global economy using cryptocurrencies.
  • Cryptocurrencies are used to buy air time and make purchases online.

Cuba to many is a backward country stuck in the analog phase unlikely to trend for digital advancement and innovation. However, the situation on the ground is not as bleak as many imagine. The rise in internet connectivity and smartphone adoption paved a way for cryptocurrencies related transactions. An alternative to the traditional system helping locals bypass the US sanctions on Cuba.

For instance, a local trader, Sanchez uses Bitcoin and other major cryptos to buy spare parts for his mobile phone repair shop. “This is really opening doors for us,” Sanchez said with excitement. The founder of a Telegram Channel, CubaCrypto Alex Sobrino reckons that at least 10,000 people use cryptos.

“We are using cryptocurrencies to top up our cellphones, to make purchases online, and there are even people reserving hotel rooms with (it).”

Although, the current conditions are forcing Cubans to cryptocurrencies, it is unlikely that these digital assets will be adopted as a legal mode of payment. Cryptocurrencies are stuck in the gray legal area.


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