Cuba’s government said Thursday it will recognize and regulate cryptocurrencies for payments on the island.
The Central Bank will develop rules for such currencies and determine how to licence providers of related services within Cuba, according to a resolution published in the Official Gazette.
As it has become more difficult to spend dollars, such currencies have increased in appeal among a digitally sophisticated group in Cuba, in part due to tighter embargo measures enforced by former President Donald Trump.
El Salvador, a Central American country, recently declared that it will accept Bitcoin as a means of encouraging remittances from its residents living overseas.
The currencies, which fluctuate dramatically in value, are largely decentralised and rely on widely distributed blockchain computer codes to keep track of transactions.
Because they may be used for apparently anonymous long-distance transactions, they are popular among those attempting to circumvent government rules, presumably including U.S. limitations on sending money to countries like Cuba.
The Central Bank can permit the use of cryptocurrencies “for reasons of socioeconomic interest,” but the state must ensure that their operations are regulated, according to the decision. It further stated that no illicit activity could be part of the operations.
Some Cubans are already utilising such gadgets for internet purchases, according to local cryptocurrency specialist and programmer Erich Garca.