Likely Over 10,000 Cubans Are Using Bitcoin To Subvert Sanctions

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

13 September 2019,
15:20
Likely Over 10,000 Cubans Are Using Bitcoin To Subvert Sanctions

Anyone who argues that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have no use case needs to travel elsewhere to make that argument, not in the Island nation of Cuba where the new kind of money has given citizens a lifeline.

Living under a sanctioned regime, Cubans are cut off from traditional payment networks and financial markets, and effectively restricted from accessing dollars or engaging in foreign trades.

Cubans, however, are not left without hope any longer with a new report from USNews confirming that the effect of the sanctions which arose as a result of political differences, can now be relieved with the aid of cryptocurrencies.

According to the report, Cubans are taking advantage of newly introduced mobile-internet in their country to trade cryptocurrency on a peer-to-peer basis and also use it to purchase items online.

For instance, Jason Sanchez cited in the report admitted to using Bitcoin to buy spare parts online from a Chinese store for his cellphone repair shop in Havana, Cuba.

"This is really opening new doors for us," Sanchez reportedly said, while noting too that the spare parts he was able to purchase online with Bitcoin were not available new in Cuba, and would have been impossible to get hold off without the cryptocurrency.

Another resident in Cuba, Alex Sobrino founded one of the country’s first crypto Telegram groups and told USNews that at least 10,000 people in the country currently use cryptocurrencies as awareness continues to grow.

"We are using cryptocurrencies to top up our cellphones, to make purchases online, and there are even people reserving hotel rooms with (it)," Sobrino reportedly said.

Although the fraction of people using crypto in Cuba is relatively small when compared to the country’s 11.2 million population, the fact that the new form of money hands back to people a freedom that they lost to political and economic issues mean it will likely gain wide acceptance in the future.

In another development related to Bitcoin’s mainstream adoption, Stmarket.co reported yesterday that the Bitcoin logo will feature on the shirts of the Premiership soccer club, Watford FC for the rest of the 2019/2020 season.

 

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