Saturday, August 8, 2015

CUCs, Pesos and now Bitcoin

Below are screenshots from a video of someone making a bitcoin transaction at one of Cuba's new WiFi hotspots.

You will find the video and an article on Cuban bitcoin here.

For more on the introduction of bitcoin, see this TV Marti report, which features an inteview of bitcoincuba founder Fernando Villar.

I've never used bitcoin, but it seems like a way for Cubans to be paid for outsourced work or sales without the governments of Cuba or the US knowing.

I am not an economist, but understand that the current two-currency situation distorts the economy and converting to a single currency will be problematical and cause some unfairness. How does bitcoin figure into all this?

Update 9/22/2015

The Huffington Post has an interesting interveiw of BitcoinCuba founder Fernando Villar. Here are a couple of quotes:

"Cubans are not using credit or debit cards and most do not have a bank account. Bitcoin and blockchain can serve the needs of the unbanked, including entrepreneurs and individuals on the island. For instance, an entrepreneur in Cuba can offer their goods or services and get paid for it by a customer any where in the world instantly. A family wanting to send money to relatives in Cuba, using Bitcoin, would now have a method that is faster and cheaper than ever. This will take some time to be a reality but it's already happening around the world."

"BitcoinCuba's (short run) mission is to inform average Cubans and the small tech community about the use of digital currencies like Bitcoin."

"In the long term, BitcoinCuba wants to help facilitate a marketplace for digital currencies so that Cubans can start using and developing Bitcoin technologies."

Fernando Villar

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