Cuba can avoid US sanctions with cryptocurrencies for being difficult to trace

Cuba can avoid US sanctions with cryptocurrencies for being difficult to trace

(EFE).- The legalization of services with operations in cryptocurrencies in Cuba is a step in the right direction that, in addition, will serve to circumvent US sanctions, different experts told Efe.

The Government of the Island published in the Official Gazette that as of May 16 licenses may be granted for businesses or individuals to operate with digital currencies, according to local media on Wednesday.

In this regard, Cuban Arturo López-Levy, assistant professor of politics and international relations at Holy Names University (California, United States) said that it is a measure that “is not surprising” because the country had already given signs that it would move tab to that address.

The Cuban academic affirmed that the legalization of these activities goes hand in hand with the so-called Ordering Task

“It had been brewing for some time, (lately) the regulations have been reacting to reality, and that is something that, in the Cuban context, is important,” he said in a telephone interview with Efe.

The norm details a regulation of the Central Bank of Cuba (BCC) last August in which digital currencies in commercial transactions were legalized. As highlighted in the document, it will be the BCC that grants licenses to service providers. These will have a duration of one year, extendable for one more.

The Cuban academic affirmed that the legalization of these activities goes hand in hand with the so-called Ordering Task of 2021.

Beyond the fact that he considers it a positive measure and that it will give rise to the appearance of new economic actors, López-Levy pointed out that the regulation also falls as a way to circumvent the economic sanctions imposed by the United States.

“For sanctioned countries, this is an alternative that has already been applied. (Cryptocurrency transactions) cannot be traced as easily,” he deepened.

The US embargo, in force since 1962, prevents Cuba from making transactions in dollars, trading products that cross the US –and that have a percentage of parts made in that country– or use the US financial system.

For this reason, last May, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel announced that the country was going to analyze the convenience of using this type of transaction.

“For the first time, something that was already working well is not prohibited. I’m glad. The unknown will be how the transactions are going to be controlled”

A Erich Garcia35, the news came as a surprise that he immediately shared with emotion to his almost 43,000 followers on Twitter.

García, an entrepreneur who has given life to two Cuban platforms that operate with cryptocurrencies –one of them, Bitremesas, allows the reception of foreign currency within the Island–, feels that the legalization of digital currencies makes Cuba advance with respect to countries that are in a better economic situation.

“For the first time, something that was already working well is not prohibited. I’m glad. The unknown will be how the transactions are going to be controlled,” he said in an interview with Efe.

There is no official number of cryptocurrency users in the Caribbean country, however, different independent estimates place the number in the tens of thousands.

However, García, who also has a YouTube channel with almost 90,000 subscribers on these topics, maintains that the number is much higher, based on the number of Cubans in groups in which digital currency transactions are made.

“Without fear of being wrong, I place it between 100,000 and 200,000,” he explained, referring to those who could benefit from these measures.

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