The Italian-Cuban entrepreneur Mazzola developed Cuba’s first decentralized Bitcoin exchange QBita earlier this month. Currently, cryptocurrencies are not illegal in Cuba, and most businesses are kept out of the country due to regulatory uncertainties and decades-long sanctions put on by the United States. Mazzola told a cryptocurrency news outlet that he created the Qbita Exchange because he has always been convinced that here, in Cuba, Bitcoin is a real necessity.
“Cuba has to use bitcoin to catch up with other countries.”
Mario Mazzola believes that in order for Cuba to catch up to other parts of the world, the country needs tools to buy, sell, use, and store Bitcoins easily and safely. “Qbita solves all these problems,” he added. Despite the regulatory issues in Cuba regarding the framework for crypto, Mazzola launched the Bitcoin wallet, Qbita wallet, in November 2019. The crypto wallet is designed to work anywhere in the world, but it is especially meant to meet the needs of data-strapped Cubans. The installation of Qbita only requires roughly 1MB of hard drive space and relatively little bandwidth.
Qbita wallet now supports a built-in peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platform, which enables Cuban users to trade BTC from within their wallets in a secure, decentralized manner with full control over their funds.
Other peer-to-peer platforms are not helpful for Cuban users.
Peer-to-peer platforms such as Paxful and LocalBitcoins are not helpful for Cuban users, according to Mazzola. He said that Paxful is actively blocking Cuba, and LocalBitcoins asks for KYC, and because of the embargo, this legal requirement is not helping the people of the island, so it’s not available in Cuba. Mazzola explained that Qbita works by creating a multi-signature address controlled by the buyer, the seller, and the platform.
The entrepreneur also informed that Qbita’s growth had come strictly from word of mouth as the company has not invested a single penny in advertising. The plans for the peer-to-peer exchanges are ambitious as Mazzola said that they are currently building a payment gateway for businesses that would like to begin accepting cryptocurrency.