Cuba Looking to Circumvent U.S. Sanctions with Cryptocurrency
In a bid to find out the best possible ways to effectively weather America’s severe economic sanctions, the Cuban government has begun studying cryptocurrency in collaboration with blockchain experts and academics, according to a Reuters report on July 3, 2019.
Cuba May Launch Own Cryptocurrency
Per sources close to the matter, Cuban authorities have revealed that the island nation is actively studying the potential use of cryptocurrency as an economy-boosting tool to help it bypass the prolonged international sanctions.
Reportedly, the tightening of the age-long U.S. trade embargo under President Donald Trump’s regime, coupled with the decline in Venezuelan aid, as well as lower exports, have succeeded in triggering a massive crisis in Cuba.
Now, Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel and his government are looking to take advantage of the stateless nature of cryptocurrency to turnaround the dwindling fortunes of the world’s tenth-largest producer of nickel.
“We are studying the potential use of cryptos in our national and international commercial transactions, and we are working together with academics in this aspect,” said Cuba’s Economy Minister, Alejandro Gil Fernandez.
If all goes as planned, Diaz-Canel has hinted at raising the income of Cubans and deepen market reforms in a bid to raise national production of its natural resources such as tobacco, sugar, and pharmaceuticals to mention a few.
Though the exact details of the new measures are yet to be released, observers say the authorities may increase pensions and the wages of workers in public administration, state-run media, and social services, from the current $25 medium monthly wage to $44.5.
Many Cubans have expressed doubts as to whether the impending integration of cryptocurrency into the nation’s processes and the resultant hike in wages will be able to bridge the gap between salaries and the high cost of living in the region. Cuban economist, Omar Everleny, explained, however, that the raise will serve as a motivating factor for workers who were previously disillusioned and emigrating from the region en masse.
With the growing popularity of bitcoin and altcoins, more nation-states are beginning to embrace these revolutionary digital assets in a bid to either bypass international sanctions or attract more blockchain-focused businesses.
Earlier in January 2019, BTCManager reported that Marshall Islands had announced plans to create the blockchain-based banknotes of the sovereign (SOV), the world’s first decentralized digital national currency.