In the middle of a storm of protests, Cuba’s government announced that it will recognize—and regulate—cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.
According to the Associated Press, Cuba’s government declared yesterday that it will recognize and regulate cryptocurrencies for financial purposes.
The declaration came in the form of a resolution, which stated that the country’s central bank, the Banco Central de Cuba, will regulate how individuals can utilize cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The announcement comes at a time when anti-government protests are raging in Cuba.
Last month, protests erupted over a lack of food and medicine in the midst of a terrible economic crisis exacerbated not just by COVID-19, but also by international sanctions.
At the time, President Diez-spokesperson, Canel’s Bruno Rodriguez, blamed the protests on “salaried agents.”
Aside from the shortage of basic essentials like food and medication, Cubans are also reeling from the government’s decision to eliminate the dual-currency system, which has resulted in many Cubans losing money when they exchange Cuban convertible pesos (CUCs) for the old Cuban peso (CUP).
Other than “reasons of socio-economic interest,” the Cuban government provided little information about why cryptocurrencies will be regulated and acknowledged in Cuba. However, like in El Salvador, the action could be seen as a strategy of safeguarding wealth for ordinary people.
El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal cash earlier this year.
While Cuba has not stated that any cryptocurrency will become legal cash, the news indicates an effort to integrate cryptocurrencies into Cubans‘ daily life and payment demands.
The government is also claimed to have stated that it will regulate how cryptocurrencies are used in the country and that these operations will not include illicit behavior.