Cuba’s government said on Thursday it will recognise and regulate cryptocurrencies for payments on the Carribean island.
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A resolution published in the Official Gazette said the country’s Central Bank will set rules for such currencies and determine how to license providers of related services within Cuba.
It comes as the Central American nation of El Salvador prepares to officially recognise the use of Bitcoin as a way to encourage remittances from its citizens living abroad when its crypto law comes into effect on September 7.
The Cuban resolution, which will come into force on September 15, regulates “the use of certain virtual assets in commercial transactions, as well as the licensing of providers” of these services in “operations related to financial, exchange and collection or payment activities” in or from Cuban territory.
The popularity of such currencies has grown among a technologically savvy group in Cuba as it has become harder to use dollars, in part because of toughened embargo rules imposed under former President Donald Trump.
Bitcoin already widely used on Cuba
The currencies, which can wildly soar and depreciate in value, are mostly independent of any central bank and use widely distributed blockchain computer codes to keep track of transfers.
According to unofficial estimates, some 10,000 Cubans use Bitcoins, making it one of the most widely used cryptocurrencies in the country.