The Central Bank of Cuba issued a series of regulations for bitcoin service providers on Tuesday, after giving the go-ahead last year to personal use of cryptocurrencies, a move some experts say could help the Caribbean island side dodge harsh sanctions. imposed by the United States.
The cryptocurrencieswhich allow financial operations to be carried out anonymously and decentralized, have been used in the past to circumvent capital controls, as well as to make payments and transfers more efficient.
The bank authorization, published Tuesday in the Official Gazette of Cubarequires that those who wish to use the coins obtain a license, which will be granted for one year, and extendable for another “given the experimental and innovative nature of this type of activity.”
In a resolution, the Central Bank of Cuba said it would consider the legality, the socioeconomic interest and the characteristics of the project of any request before granting a license.
The launch of the mobile Internet three years ago paved the way for transactions with cryptocurrencies in Cubaand enthusiasts on the island are growing in number as the currency helps overcome obstacles created by US sanctions applied to the Caribbean island.
America’s decades-old trade embargo excludes Cubans of payment systems and conventional international financial markets. Cubans cannot obtain credit or debit cards for international use on the island and have complications to do so abroad.
“If the Central Bank is creating a legal framework favorable to cryptocurrenciesIt is because they have already decided that it can bring benefits to the country,” said Pavel Vidal, a former economist at the Central Bank of Cuba who teaches at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali, in Colombia.
Several of the neighboring Latin American countries of Cuba have taken an interest in cryptocurrencies, including El Salvador, the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.
Vidal said he doubted that Cuba would become another The Saviormaking cryptocurrencies their preferred currency or inventing their own, “but rather that they are thinking of facilitating the entry of remittances and international foreign trade operations in cryptocurrencies.”
“This can reduce the cost of these international transactions and generate an alternative to operations in dollars, less sensitive to the sanctions scheme,” he said.