Cuba is opening the door to cryptocurrencies, allowing the digital currency to be used for payments in the country after it explores a framework for regulations and licensing, the Associated Press and other news outlets reported on Friday (Aug. 27). Cuba, cryptocurrencies, payments
The island’s Official Gazette published a resolution that indicated that the Central Bank of Cuba would work on establishing the rules and regulations.
According to the resolution, the Central Bank can grant the use of digital currency “for reasons of socio-economic interest” providing that the transactions are overseen by the state. The resolution also highlighted that all illegal activity would be prohibited.
Digital currencies like bitcoin are already being used in Cuba, Erich García, a Cuban cryptocurrency expert and programmer, said. Garcia said the coins are mostly purchased using gift cards and then spent on eCommerce purchases.
Tech-savvy Cubans took to the digital currency in part due to the difficulty of using the dollar following former President Trump’s embargo rules.
Related news: Cubans Using Crypto To Get Around US Sanctions
El Salvador endorsed the use of bitcoin in June as a way to spur remittances from residents living in other countries. The government is considering regulations that would essentially make bitcoin as accepted as regular cash. The country also partnered with the digital wallet company, Strike, to develop the bitcoin infrastructure.
Countries worldwide are grappling with the dilemmas that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have wrought as governments scramble to define and regulate an asset that is volatile and sensitive to viral social media posts.
In the U.S., crypto regulation was packaged into the $1 trillion infrastructure bill and has raised opposition from different factions of eCurrency advocates.
Aside from tax concerns and safeguarding investors, officials are looking to cement regulations that police underground operations, where bitcoin and other digital money are used for money laundering and other illegal activities.
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