From ban to regulatory draft, cryptocurrencies seem to have a roller coaster ride. Countries like China have barred citizens from trading digital currencies while the United Kingdom and the European Union are working on the legal frameworks of the segment. Amid such variations, El Salvador and the Central African Republic have adopted bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency that was launched in 2009, as their official currencies. And now, Cuba has approved cryptocurrency mobile apps in the country.
Mobile internet was rolled out just three years ago in Cuba and now the government has paved the path for cryptocurrency transactions through smartphones. People on the island have been showing interest in the new age currencies which have helped them to overcome the obstacles created by the imposition of US sanctions decades ago.
Cubans are deprived of the international payment systems due to sanctions as well as the foreign markets. They have been barred from using debit or credit cards for international use either domestically or abroad.
Former central bank economists Pavel Vidal said the creation of a legal framework for cryptocurrency in the country is based on the hopes that it may bring benefits.
However, he doubted that the country would adopt a cryptocurrency as a legal tender but may facilitate foreign trades and remittances in the country. The measure may reduce international transaction costs and simultaneously create an alternative to USDs that is less sensitive to any sanction by the West.
Cryptocurrency is the latest creation and is just about a decade old. Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency that was launched in 2009. The segment has grown in value as well as popularity outstandingly over the years and now the market is pregnant with thousands of cryptocurrencies. It is completely decentralized and not under the control of any country, government, bank or authority.