Cuba has added its name to the list of countries exploring the official adoption of cryptocurrency. The Cuban government is now reportedly reviewing how to recognize and regulate cryptocurrencies for payments as the country remains crippled by US-led sanctions.
Media outlet Aljazeera reports that the Caribbean nation’s central bank is preparing rules for the implementation of mainstream cryptocurrency acceptance. Authorities in the country are also said to putting together the framework to distribute licenses to businesses based on the cryptocurrency-related services they offer.
The country’s resolution, according to information presented in Cuba’s official newspaper, the Official Gazette, indicates that the central bank can authorize the use of cryptocurrencies “for reasons of socioeconomic interest.” However, the state has to ensure that the transactions are controlled. It also explicitly states that operations cannot involve illegal activities, such as money laundering.
The move to allow cryptocurrency as a legal tender in Cuba, according to sources, has been enthusiastically received by the local population. The country was forced to temporarily halt bank deposits in US dollars because of the sanctions and restrictions implemented under former US President Donald Trump. The expectation that current POTUS Joe Biden would take a softer stance hasn’t been realized and, as he seems to be taking a harder position against the country, Cuba has to rethink its monetary policies.
El Salvador was the first Latin American country to take a huge step forward in recognizing cryptocurrencies when it legalized Bitcoin (BTC). As the country’s economy struggles, it is looking for innovative ways to exit the crisis. This past Monday, El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, announced the construction of country-wide infrastructure to support the adoption of BTC. BTC will officially become legal tender in the country next month.
El Salvador’s BTC adoption policy will go a long way toward reducing money remittance costs and might also transform the remittance landscape across Latin America, according to the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI). Dante Mossi, executive president of CABEI, has asserted that El Salvador’s “out of this world experiment” could result in greater financial inclusion and, as a result, the agency is helping the country create a technical framework for BTC adoption.