Cuban crypto industry rises amidst a crippling economy

Cuban crypto industry rises amidst a crippling economy

As Cuba grapples with serious economic challenges, the Cuban crypto industry is registering an uptick. Though unfortunate, the sliding economic environment is pushing people towards decentralized cryptocurrencies to protect their wealth. Crippling food shortages, unemployment, and Coronavirus pandemic have all led to a thriving crypto industry.

Venezuela no longer provides aid to Cuba. ‘Mules,’ or cash carriers, are facing movement restrictions due to the pandemic. Decades of sanctions have caused large-scale industry decline. Thus, everyday items are scarce, and daily routine has become a struggle. Now, people are moving towards the Cuban crypto industry to shield against rising inflation.

Cuban economy is in shambles and needs decentralization

Qbita, the first Cuban crypto P2P exchange, went live in April 2019. Its relative success shows that Cubans are now more receptive to Bitcoin. The societal and financial hardships have driven people towards cryptocurrencies.

The Covid-19 pandemic has wholly ravaged the country’s economy. Cuba’s socialist regime has made matters worse since authoritarian control has centralized most financial powers. From industry to the financial sector, the country’s fundamental building blocks are on the verge of collapse. Raul Castro’s leadership has provided very little help to the common man. The Communist Party of Cuba has done nothing to tackle the Coronavirus outbreak.

Venezuela, also termed as the lifeline for Cuba, has stepped back and stopped aid. Subsequently, the Communist Party of Cuba has launched a bold initiative to promote agriculture and grow its food. The regime is pushing for self-sustenance as an impending full-blown crisis stares in its face.

Cuban crypto to the rescue

Mario Mazzola, an entrepreneur, opened Cuba’s first P2P Bitcoin exchange called Qbita. Cubans have welcomed the move since Paxful blocks Cubans, and KYC requirements of LocalBitcoin are too complicated.

Mazzola says that Cuban crypto is much more than just trading. It represents a tool for survival in a collapsing economy. In Cuba, people are going to use Bitcoin and crypto for its real purpose, i.e., empower the poor and have complete control over your funds.

Gurpreet Thind

Gurpreet Thind

Gurpreet Thind is pursuing Masters in Electrical Engineering at University of Ottawa. His scholarly interests include IT, computer languages and cryptocurrencies. With a special interest in blockchain powered architectures, he seeks to explore the societal impact of digital currencies as finance of the future. He is passionate about learning new languages, cultures and social media.

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