Cubans are interested in Bitcoin, as other important digital payment options such as PayPal are not available in the country.
Cuba is apparently seeing an influx of Bitcoin-related activity (BTC): interest in cryptomonics is increasing in the country.
According to Google Trends data, Cuba is now the second country in terms of interest in Bitcoin in the last 30 days. The island nation follows Nigeria, which has remained the top country in the Google search for Bitcoin since April 2020.
The rest of Google’s top five regions searching for Bitcoin include the African countries of South Africa, Cameroon and Ghana.
The increase in Bitcoin-related searches in Cuba comes amid reports that Cubans are increasingly using Bitcoin to circumvent US sanctions and gain access to digital financial services. With major digital payments companies such as PayPal and Stripe reportedly available to Cuban citizens, travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic have further complicated local payments.
In late October, local programmer and YouTuber Erich Garcia called on the nation to use Bitcoin for cross-border remittances, saying that anyone who wants to send payments to the island should buy Bitcoin Loophole and send it through a Cuban cryptoexchange called BitRemesas:
„We do not have access to payment platforms such as Stripe, Visa, Mastercard, Paypal or Union Pay. We don’t have access to anything, to any of those resources. What technology has allowed us to dream, to see other scenarios? Blockchain and Bitcoin.“
In April 2020, Italian-Cuban entrepreneur Mario Mazzola launched the first decentralized Bitcoin exchange in Cuba, Qbita. According to Mazzola, the new exchange aims to allow Cubans to buy and sell Bitcoin, since major cryptoservices such as LocalBitcoins and Paxful are not accessible in the country.