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Cuba to become the latest country to recognize, regulate cryptocurrencies

Kitco News

(Kitco News) The government of Cuba said the country's central bank would set rules in place to recognize and regulate cryptocurrency payments.

The announcement was published in the Official Gazette, AP reported. According to the resolution, Cuba's central bank can recognize the use of cryptocurrencies "for reasons of socioeconomic interest."

The Cuban government also stated that crypto operations could not be connected to illegal activities.

The central bank will outline rules for cryptocurrencies and seek out license providers of related services within the country.

Cryptocurrencies have become popular in Cuba, allowing citizens to go around the U.S.-imposed sanctions.

Cuba would follow in El Salvador's footsteps. El Salvador already approved legislation that gives bitcoin official currency status alongside the U.S. dollar. The legislation will kick in in September.

"Everyone is watching if it goes well for El Salvador and if, for example, the cost of remittances drops substantially ... other countries will probably seek that advantage and adopt it," Dante Mossi, the executive president of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), told Reuters this week.

In November the Trump administration targeted remittances to Cuba through financial sanctions. The Guardian reported that the actions led to the closure of about 400 affiliated Western Union offices in the impoverished country. An estimated $3 billion in remittances are channeled through Cuba annually.

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