Friday, October 23, 2020

Remittances sent with Bitcoin are delivered by bicycle in Cuba


In Cuba, they buy Bitcoin through auctions via WhatsApp or Telegram and then pay in fiat money which is delivered in person by the buyer after traveling long distances, even by bicycle.

The restrictions due to COVID-19 and the US sanctions imposed on the island have caused Cubans to use Bitcoin as an alternative to receive their remittances.

People who want to acquire Bitcoin in Cuba are willing to pay more or give up part of their earnings to achieve it.

Yesterday a Cuban family received their remittances sent via Bitcoin from the United States to Cuba at their doorstep. The user who won the auction had to pedal 14km to deliver the cash to the family and receive their Bitcoins.

According to the AFP news agency, the family received 100 dollars in exchange for their Cuban currency (100 CUC or 2,500 CUP), bypassing the restrictions and sanctions applied by the US to Cuba.

Receiving remittances without leaving home

The operation was carried out easily and quickly (although it should have exhausted the energy of the service provider) through the Cuban remittance platform

Only 3 steps were needed to send the money: the first was given by the person who sent money, making a transaction of Bitcoins to the platform linking them to their electronic wallet through a QR code.

Then the second step is given by Erich (creator of Bitremesas) who carries out an auction through WhatsApp or Telegram, notifying the community interested in buying those BTC which begins a "negative bid" to get hold of them.

The third and last step culminates in the delivery of the money by the winner of the auction, in this case it was Adalberto Orta, a 33-year-old programmer who believed in the technology behind Bitcoin, who had to travel 14 km to deliver the money physically to the wife of the person who sent the money from abroad

Erich García, 33, described himself on his Twitter account as a "programmer, youtuber and technologist", launched this platform a few weeks ago to evade the economic sanctions that the island maintains with the United States.

Thanks to Bitremesas, Cuban users do not have to worry about having a bank or how to receive their money, since it guarantees that it is personally delivered to its users if they need it.

Cubans circumvent the economic embargo thanks to the blockchain

The implementation of blockchain technologies on the island has allowed Cubans to circumvent the embargo that has slowed the country's economic advance. This is why more and more Cubans want to acquire Bitcoin without caring about paying more than the real market price.

According to the Bitremesas page, in Cuba there are more than 10,000 people who are dedicated to buying Bitcoin and who are willing to pay more or give up a little of their earnings to obtain them. On the main page of Bitremesas it is shown that sending $ 76 through Bitcoin to the recipient would get $ 80.

This platform has shown the Government and its citizens the advantages that cryptocurrencies can offer to face their economic problems. This is why for Erich Garcia Cruz, "Sending remittances is just the beginning."