Cuba‘s government is eyeing the potential use of cryptocurrency to boost its economy.
The proposal forms part of a series of measures seeking to improve the country’s deepening criss exacerbated by US sanctions.
The new measures were announced this week by President Miguel Diaz-Canel and his government on state-run TV and promise to raise income for around a quarter of the population.
The objective is to increase national supply and demand with a view of boosting growth as sanctions imposed by US President Donald Trump target foreign investment and tourism.
Speaking on TV, Alejandro Gil Fernandez, the country’s Minister of Economy and Planning, said:
“We are planning to explore the potential application of cryptocurrency […] In fact, we’ve gone further and decided to study the potential use of cryptocurrency in national and international commercial relations.”
Gil Fernandez stated this was a long-term project, and added that there is enough talent in Cuba to make the use of cryptocurrency a reality should it prove a feasible means of payment.
@AlejandroGilF en @mesaredondacuba: #Cuba 🇨🇺 estudia la implementación de una criptomoneda #CubaAvanza@liubamoreno@AlinaSnchez@RadioRelojCuba@radionline@oneliocc@ibs24@chamberohoy@Guajiritasoy@joaquinsglez@ernestom91@JoelSuarezPelle@CarlosO28859673@MEP_CUBApic.twitter.com/vHoM3IOaxp
— Ramon Rodriguez 🇨🇺 (@cyber_reloj) July 2, 2019
The news comes after President Miguel Diaz-Canel accused the Trump administration of engaging in an “asphyxiating financial persecution that makes the import of goods and resources of primary necessity particularly difficult,” in a speech delivered in April this year.
Cuba‘s ally Venezuela introduced ‘El Petro,‘ a state-run cryptocurrency, to avoid US sanctions and weather-related hyperinflation last year, but it failed to catch on.
It was supposedly backed by the country’s oil and mineral reserves, and was intended to co-exist with Venezuela’s plummeting bolívar, as a way of circumventing US sanctions and accessing international financing.