As reported by cointelegraph.com on November 02.2020, Cuba ranks second in the matter of Bitcoin interest over the past 30 days. The island nation follows Nigeria, which has remained as the top country searching for Bitcoin on Google since April 2020.
Cuba’s rise in Bitcoin-related searches comes amid reports of Cubans additionally turning to Bitcoin to circumvent sanctions imposed by the United States and gain access to digital financial services. As major digital payment firms like PayPal and Stripe are allegedly not available for Cuban nationals, the coronavirus pandemic-fueled travel restrictions have made local payments even more complicated.
According to a local programmer and YouTuber Erich García:
“We do not have access to payment platforms like Stripe, Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, or Union Pay. We do not have access to anything, to any of those resources. What technology has allowed us to dream, see other scenarios? Blockchain and Bitcoin.”
Italian-Cuban entrepreneur Mario Mazzola launched Cuba’s first decentralized Bitcoin exchange, Qbita in April 2020.As stated by Mazzola, the new exchange aims to allow Cubans to buy and sell Bitcoin as major crypto services like LocalBitcoins and Paxful are not available in the country.