While the young Cuban entrepreneur Adrián C. León was studying his master’s degree in Computer Science at the Pontifical University of Rio de Janeiro, he had the idea to create Fusyona, the first cryptocurrency exchange in Cuba. Three years later, that first project evolved and today it is an ecosystem powered by tokens to create, store, exchange and share cryptocurrencies.
PanamericanWorld spoke with this entrepreneur who today leads a multidisciplinary team of entrepreneurs, researchers and graduate students knowledgeable in cryptocurrencies, who reside in Mexico, Brazil, the United States and Cuba.
Initial steps of a cryptocurrency exchange in Cuba
When Adrian began to dabble in the cryptocurrency market, he realized it was difficult for new users without specialized knowledge to take full advantage of various applications related to blockchain technology. “Thus came the idea of creating several tools related to this technology. We created, as a first service, an Exchange to bring crypto assets to more Cuban users”, he said.
“At first, many doubted that there was any interest in cryptocurrencies in Cuba. However, in just under a year we gained more than 10,000 users. This was surprising for a small country that, in 2018, had difficult access to the internet and hardly any prior contact with blockchain technology. The advantages of cryptocurrencies easily overcame the difficulties and allowed our users to access financial services that are not available in the national territory”, he clarified.
Adrian confessed that now they wanted to do much more. Therefore, this year they began to develop new services on the platform. “We created a token-driven ecosystem to create, store, exchange and share crypto. In addition, we decided to take a leap and focus on the global market to increase the reach of our users. What was initially a cryptocurrency exchange in Cuba has grown to become an exceptional ecosystem of multiple cryptocurrency-related services”, he acknowledged.
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Fusyona, from a Marketplace for NFT to FUSY, its own token
Adrián explained that they now understand Fusyona as a “multi-chain” collaborative platform, which includes an integrated offering of the entire token lifecycle.
Some of the tools they make available to users include: an online service for the automated creation of tokens; a crypto-wallet to store the tokens created and other cryptocurrencies; an NFT Marketplace to sell digital art, music, memes, products, among others, using cryptocurrencies and tokens as a means of payment; a cryptocurrency exchange for the purchase and sale of created tokens and other cryptocurrencies.
In addition, Fusyona created its own token: Fusyona coin (FUSY). “We issue a total of 10 trillion FUSYs, compatible with the BEP-20 standard that runs natively on the Binance Smartchain blockchain. FUSY coin is now available for purchase on several decentralized exchanges, including pancakeswap, sushiswap and 1inch,” Adrian said.
“Our goal is for the FUSY token to become a fundamental pillar of the platform. Users will be able to use FUSY tokens in the future to purchase products and merchandise on the NFT Marketplace”, he explained.
The enormous potential of cryptocurrencies in Cuba and throughout Latin America
“Cryptocurrencies have been a disruptive technology, with multiple applications, both for the financial market, technology, and more recently in the area of digital art and video games, thanks to NFT. In recent years, statistics have positioned various Latin American countries among the nations that trade with cryptocurrencies the most.”
“This is because, for developing countries, such as Cuba and others in Latin America, cryptocurrencies have enormous potential, mainly because of their decentralized characteristics and the possibility of increasing access to various financial services”.
“Even though the pandemic led to the creation of more bank accounts in Latin America, these figures are still low. This opens a major path for the proliferation of fintechs, especially those related to cryptocurrencies.”
“Financial inclusion is just one of its advantages. They also allow better traceability of funds and facilitate international trade on a small and medium scale. Both physical businesses and e-commerce can receive payments on a global scale, without the need for a bank account. In addition, depending on the selected blockchain, the costs of transactions with crypto can be significantly lower than transfers made with traditional bank accounts”.
“Blockchain technology may also have other uses, such as offering more transparent contract systems for institutions and governments.”
“In Cuba we have seen that our users are mainly interested in three particular areas. First, the advantage of financial inclusion, because they can make online purchases that they did not previously have access to due to the lack of an international bank account. In addition, low transaction fees allow them to receive remittances at lower costs. Finally, many users are also interested in trading, holding and profiting from cryptocurrencies as an investment method”, explained Adrián.
A platform for the marketing of art
“Fusyona will support artists, content creators, meme creators, art collectors, game creators and enthusiasts, as well as new creative projects, using the benefits of blockchain technology”, he acknowledged.
“We will have an NFTs Marketplace available, where users will be able to exchange their products and works using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, including cryptos generated on the Fusyona platform. This online platform will enable the purchase and sale of digital art, music, memes, digital content, collectibles, game tokens and much more.”
“Artists will be able to sell their creations protected by the transparency and immutability of blockchain technology, all in a secure and automated environment. On the other hand, users and art enthusiasts will be able to buy and own their favorite digital artworks thanks to the non-fungible function of NFTs. Consumers will also be able to see free content on creators’ profile, while having access to exclusive works by acquiring NFT and digital collectibles”, he added.
“This will also be an effort to protect artists creators and art buyers from copyright piracy of digital artworks. Therefore, blockchain transparency and immutability will be used on our platform to prove the authenticity of all collectible goods traded on the Fusyona Marketplace”, he warned.
Impact of cryptocurrency regulations in El Salvador
“We believe that such regulations can have a positive impact on the use of cryptocurrencies in these countries, as well as in other nations in the region, mainly because of the advantages and benefits related to the legal use of crypto assets as a payment method”.
“We are closely watching what is happening in El Salvador in connection with cryptocurrencies. We hope that it will be the first of many countries to take this decisive step. The measures taken have caught the attention of all cryptocurrency investors. However, it remains to be seen how these regulations will evolve and how cryptocurrencies will be adopted by businesses and the population of that country”, Adrián concluded.