Abita, a P2P Bitcoin exchange now launched in Cuba

Written by: Mustafa Mulla

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Mustafa Mulla

Mustafa has been writing about Blockchain and crypto since many years. He has previous trading experience and has been working in the Fintech industry since 2017.

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Apr 23, 2020


Mario Mazzola Qbita-a peers to peer Bitcoin trading platform has now been launched in Cuba. The trading platform was built in Cuba for Cuba by an Italian-Cuban crypto entrepreneur.

The creator of ultra-lightweight bitcoin wallet Qbita, Mario Mazzola, launched Qbita earlier in this month. It is the first decentralized Bitcoin exchange in Cuba of its type. 

Cuba and Cryptocurrency

In Cuba, neither is crypto illegal nor there is a presence of regulatory framework associated with it. But due to the issues of poor internet services, US sanctions, and other restrictions, crypto exchanges and wallet providers that have a lot of fame and are used by the majority of the population in the world avoid Cuba. Due to which Mazolla took the decision and responsibility and initiated the development of an all-in-one crypto ecosystem.

This crypto-ecosystem includes a Bitcoin wallet, payments platform, and a peer-to-peer exchange is a newly added concept to it. Not only that, even though there were blockades, embargoes, and financial sanctions, but the people of Cuba have also managed to overcome the obstacles and make use of the crypto-ecosystem.

Also Read: How John McAfee helped Cubans to explore Cryptocurrency 

Qbita evolved with time 

In an interview, Mazzola  said, “I created Qbita Exchange because I have always been convinced that here, in Cuba, Bitcoin is a real necessity. He further added that in order for Cuba to walk together with the rest of the world. The country needs tools to buy, sell, use and store Bitcoins easily and safely and Qbita solves all these problems. 

Last November, Qbita Walker was first launched by Mazolla and it is designed in such a way that it can work anywhere in the world. But it is specially designed to meet the needs of Cubans. 

Low in Size is superiority.

upIn order to install the wallet, 1MB of hard drive space and relatively little bandwidth are roughly needed. After the wallet has now started supporting a built-in peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platform. Cuban users can now trade BTC from within their wallets in a secure, decentralized manner having full control over their funds.

 Mazzola statements over this launch 

Mazzola said that even though there are other P2P exchanges with similar services like Paxful and LocalBitcoins none of them is particularly good for Cubans.

“Paxful is actively blocking Cuba, LocalBitcoins is asking you for KYC, and because of the embargo. This legal requirement is not helping the people of the island, so it is not available in our Country,” he said. 

He also mentioned other local Cuban options like CubaCoin and Fusyona and said that they come with many technical limitations. Whereas in the case of Qbita it works in a way that a multi-signature address is created which is controlled by the buyer, the seller, and the platform. 

Qbita’s acceptance and fame are rising with the users increasing from 850 to 1100 in a week which is equal to a 30% increase. And it is said that its promotion among the population happened only and only by word of mouth.

But Mazzola hasn’t stopped. The entrepreneur is now building a payment gateway for businesses that would like to begin accepting cryptocurrency. But according to him, that may take some time because e-commerce is still in its primitive stage in Cuba.

On the other hand, Remittances are different. “Qbita is the perfect platform to process remittances, and I’m not saying that the math says so,” Mazzola said. He justified his statement by giving an example, “If we compare Qbita to Western Union, a Cuban American sends 100 USD from the United States to his wife in Holguin and she will receive about 95 CUC [Cuban convertible pesos].” 

However, if the same exchange was done in terms of BTC and the recipient sold it on arrival, the person would observe a net gain from the transaction, the reason being Bitcoin’s sale at a premium in Cuba, he explained.

Mazzola said he’s optimistic about the future of both Cuba and crypto even though the rest of the world is facing an economic crisis.

“I think that in the future we’re going to see fewer people coming to crypto just to make some easy money. We’re going to see more people using Bitcoin for its true purpose. The freedom to move money and to have total control of your funds,” he said.

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Mustafa Mulla

Mustafa has been writing about Blockchain and crypto since many years. He has previous trading experience and has been working in the Fintech industry since 2017.

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