The Republic of Cuba is going through one of the worst economic moments since the decade of the special period after the fall of the Soviet Union. Thousands of people suffer the impact of medicine and food shortages, aggravating the impact of the Covid-19 virus. Support among Cubans, inside and outside the island, is a fundamental factor. To this aid to Cuba, is added Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

It is a quick, safe and transparent way to help people in some provinces who are bearing the brunt of the crisis. One of them is Matanzas, where the health system has collapsed due to the pandemic. The shortage of medicines and the impact of new variants of the virus add to the suffering of the population.

This is an extreme situation that has led to despair among important sectors of the population. In this regard, the island witnessed unprecedented anti-government protests on Sunday, July 11. Dozens of people took to the streets of several cities to make demands. Some called for improvements in the situation, others called for an end to the political system that has governed that nation since 1959.

What kind of help does Bitcoin represent for Cuba?

The help Bitcoin can provide to Cuba is outstanding for many reasons. The first is that cryptocurrency is designed to break down barriers imposed by governments. Consequently, it is difficult for the Cuban government to obstruct the entry of these shipments to its citizens.

On the other hand, for US authorities it is complex to track those who send cryptocurrencies. As is well known, Washington has imposed a trade, economic and financial embargo on the Caribbean island since 1962. It has caused incalculable losses to the stability and development of the country.

Thus, Cuba’s chances of accessing the financial system are scarce. The sending of remittances from the United States and other countries to the island was considerably limited by the Republican government of Donald Trump. Despite this, the sending of cryptocurrencies cannot be controlled by centralized entities.

This makes Bitcoin an ideal tool for sending humanitarian aid to Cuba. The big problem so far with this new technology is that it is unknown to the vast majority of the population. Thus, a large part of the people who want to send, do not know how to access cryptocurrencies. Similarly, people who need to receive it, also have no idea of how it works.

Some initiatives

But pessimism is not a problem for important representatives of digital currencies related to the largest of the Antilles. In this way, initiatives arise to bring to Cuba the benefits of digital currencies. In that order, CoinDesk highlights the most important ways to bring the Cuban population access to cryptocurrencies.

The most important of these projects are BitRemesas and QvaPay. They promote access to cryptocurrencies and the collection of currency for Cubans through the use of digital currencies. One of the most prominent representatives of the crypto universe in Cuba, Erich García Cruz, heads the initiative.

García Cruz, has created an account at QvaPay with zero fees to receive donations. He told CoinDesk that all donations are transparent and can be audited in real time. Through this step, he hopes to receive donations from Cubans abroad, without the complexities of the barriers imposed by the embargo.

By reducing barriers, the population’s access to food and food becomes more direct and faster. Aid to the population of Cuba is the main task of this initiative that is supported by Bitcoin, USDT, Litecoin, Tron, among other digital currencies.

The impact of the pandemic on the province of Matanzas has been particularly strong. In the midst of that crisis, Bitcoin aid initiatives are born for the population of Cuba. Source:
The impact of the pandemic on the province of Matanzas has been particularly strong. In the midst of that crisis, Bitcoin aid initiatives are born for the population of Cuba. Source:

An agnostic remittance system

The precarious situation in Cuba, marked mainly by the lack of food and medicine, is a politically sensitive issue. However, it is not the aim of this paper to determine whether government policies or the US embargo are responsible for the situation. The same goes for Bitcoin. The unique goal of cryptocurrency is to reach the population that needs help.

On the other hand, initiatives to help Cuba with Bitcoin and other virtual currencies also offer advice. Those people who want to send help and do not have crypto accounts, are advised in the process. To do this, they receive support on how to use platforms exchanges like Binance or Coinbase.

Another barrier to receiving Bitcoin is the government’s move to cut off Internet service. The above-mentioned protests set off alarm bells within the Communist Party of Cuba, which fears that the protests will destabilize the government system.

In the face of this, Havana has considerably limited Internet access on almost the entire island. This, presumably, negatively affects the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a means of help for people in need in Cuba.

Pandemic rages on Caribbean island

The Cuban government, at the beginning of the pandemic, seemed one of the best prepared to face it. In fact, the Caribbean nation sent doctors to places where Covid-19 was causing heavy losses like Italy and Spain. The medical brigades were applauded and the Caribbean nation stood out as an example to follow when facing a health emergency.

In addition, the island boasted of creating its own vaccines against the virus, removing the worried eyes of the international community. However, the whole facade seems to collapse with the protests last Sunday. The real situation came to light.

The numbers of infected people in Matanzas are alarming. Earlier this month, infections increased 50% in a matter of days. Also, protests could increase the magnitude of the contagion. The help of the Bitcoin community, takes center stage and on it depends, to a large extent, the well-being of the most affected people within Cuba.

These contributions are used, the interviewees indicated to the aforementioned medium, for the purchase of masks and medicines. In this regard, it should be noted that the Cuban authorities temporarily removed customs restrictions on the purchase of medicines and food abroad.


  • To have an accurate idea of all that is hidden behind the current situation in Cuba, it is important to review some background data.
  • On January 1, 1959, the civil war in Cuba ended when the rebel army led by Fidel Castro took Havana.
  • With a nationalist program, the new government nationalizes the island’s resources and expropriates U.S. companies in Cuban territory. This unleashed a chain of aggressivity that continues to this day.
  • In 1961, the United States announced the trade embargo and began a process of hostilities that ended with the attempted military invasion of the island. The invading troops were defeated by the Cuban navy that same year in the Bay of Pigs.
  • The fear of a new invasion, pushes Cuba to ally with the Soviet Union and to declare itself officially communist. In 1962, he attempted to install nuclear missiles to deter the U.S.
  • To prevent the overthrow, the Cuban government curtailed civil liberties and began a policy of persecution against its opponents.
  • Both the United States and Cuba are reluctant to change their policies. This has mainly affected the civilian population.