Crypto gains ground in U.S.-sanctioned Cuba

STORY: [1027, 3:33]

Cuba's central bank is set to grant licenses to some providers of cryptocurrency services...

[1027, 3:38]

...a move that could help the Communist-run nation evade U.S. sanctions.

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A decades-old U.S. trade embargo cuts Cubans off

from conventional international payment systems and financial markets.

[4459, 1:08 - 1:22]

Cryptocurrencies -

which are decentralised and allow for anonymous and more efficient financial operations -

are increasingly seen as a way to overcome those obstacles.

[4076, 2:15 - 2:29] **avoid the face shot**

Cuba approved them for personal use last year and new regulations were set to come in on Tuesday.

But just how they will factor into the Caribbean island's future is hard to say --

as former Cuban central bank economist Pavel Videl explains.

[4459, 0:30]

"What we have up to now is a new legal framework that is more friendly for the use of the crypto assets in Cuba, but we don’t know exactly who is going to use this new legal framework, what kind of services this new actors are going to be offering and who is going to be the recipients of these operations."

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Some of Cuba's Latin American neighbors have also adopted cryptocurrency in their economies.

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Last year, El Salvador became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.

But Videl was skeptical that Cuba would follow suit.

[4459, 1:38]

“I don’t think that Cuba is moving to a monetary system that is going to based only crypto currencies, I think they are going to use it as an alternative but only for international operations."

[5208, 0:05 - 0:17]

On Tuesday the bank said it would consider legality...

...socioeconomic interest and project characteristics -

before granting a license.

Those license will initially be valid for one year.

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