While most cryptocurrency companies stay outside of Cuba due to regulatory uncertainties and to strong US sanctions, the Italian-Cuban businessman Mario Mazzola developed and used Cuba’s first peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange (BTC).
On April 23 the news broadcaster Decrypt reported that Mazzola launched the “ultra-light” Bitcoin exchange earlier this month.
Take the lead
In a Reuters report published in September 2019, 35-year-old Cuban mobile operator Jason Sanchez was quoted as saying that virtual currencies “open new doors” to ordinary people..
There is an interest in the use of virtual currencies and the possibility of circumventing US sanctionsCubans have had difficulty using crypto ever since Most exchanges have blocked access to their services geographically.
Mazzola defines Bitcoin as a necessity for Cubans, with most service providers blocking usersYou don’t get the benefits. In such a situation, he adds Qbita serves as a tool for easy, secure buying, selling, using and storing bitcoins.
Before you start the Qbita exchange this month, I had already launched the Qbita Bitcoin wallet in November 2019. The wallet was specially designed with the slow Internet services in Cuba in mind It is only 1MB in size and can be used with a simple internet connection.
Other crypto exchanges in Cuba don’t help much
There is other cryptocurrency and wallet exchange services in Cuba such as Paxful and LocalBitcoins but Mazzola said that each of them has “a little problem”.
“Paxful is actively blocking Cuba, LocalBitcoins is demanding KYC, and due to the embargo, this legal requirement does not help people on the island, so it is not available in our country.”
Since Qbita started, the number of recorded downloads has increased from 850 to 1,100This corresponds to an increase of 30% in just one week.
Although the numbers are not huge, Mazzola is optimistic that Cubans will soon recognize the potential of Bitcoin in national and international transactions.
“We’ll see more people use Bitcoin for its true purpose: the freedom to move money and have full control over your money.”