The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a global health crisis without warning. Cuba does not escape the contagions and deaths left by this disease that compromises the respiratory system. However, on the island an initiative is using bitcoin (BTC) as an alternative to deal with the disease.
A group of Cubans is processing domestic and foreign donations with cryptocurrencies to alleviate the situation and attend to the growing number of patients. More than $2,000 has been raised so far, which has been used to buy medicines, medical supplies and food.
The items are distributed in different areas of the country, but especially among Cubans residing in Matanzas, one of the provinces most affected by COVID-19 cases. Local businesswoman Thais Liset formed a working group with which she hopes to help as many people as possible, Outlined Coindesk.
Through her Twitter account, the entrepreneur Clarified that the goal is to help affected people and prevent new infections. Liset’s message is aimed at rule out any link of the initiative with the protests that have occurred recently in Cuba or with some personal interest.
“To see people, to make some things clear: this action has no other interest than to help. Everything purchased is in my thread fixed. We keep an impeccable count on expenses to publish it after finishing. I have no economic need,” Liset explained on the popular social network.
The mechanism of raising funds using bitcoin is also related to the restrictions that Cubans have on foreign exchange. In addition, it should be mentioned that, due to sanctions and the economic embargo of the United States, the Cubans have adopted other alternatives to gain access to the financial world.
Sending donations with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies
On how is the process for sending donations with Bitcoin, the bitcoiner Cuban Erich García Cruz reported that one of the options is through the QvaPay service, a payment gateway for merchants that supports multiple cryptocurrencies, including: BTC, LTC, ETH, BCH and XMR.
The remittance comes both from Cubans inside the island and those living abroad. After the digital assets are received, they are redeemed on the black market to foreign currency to buy at local stores that process payments with other national currencies.
According to García Cruz, the exchange rate in the parallel market is 60 Cuban pesos per dollar, while in the case of cryptocurrencies the rate for swaps is about 50 pesos.
Another alternative for sending donations with bitcoin is the one enabled by the company Slyk. According to its CEO, Tim Parsa, the platform can be used in Cuba by people who want to collect donations with any payment method, from Venmo to bitcoin.
CriptoNoticias has reported in the past that bitcoin is gaining interest in Cuba since 2015. In fact, an article shows what are the options when it comes to selling or buying BTC from the Caribbean island.