Strengthened Measures by elToque to Ensure Transparency in Exchange Rates and Counter "Cyber Fighters"

Friday, June 7, 2024 by Isabella Rojas

Strengthened Measures by elToque to Ensure Transparency in Exchange Rates and Counter "Cyber Fighters"
Dollars and euros (Reference image) - Image by © Pixabay

Independent media outlet elToque, known for tracking the fluctuations of foreign currency values in Cuba's informal market, announced today that it has bolstered controls to accurately calculate representative exchange rates. This move comes amid growing suspicions of attempts to inflate or deflate currency values with false announcements.

elToque pointed to a campaign by "government actors associated with State Security and Communist Party propagandists" who, since April, have sought to undermine the outlet and its methodology for calculating exchange rates. According to elToque, private sector actors have also joined this campaign, claiming they can coordinate efforts to boost the value of the Cuban peso.

"It seems their intention is to create enough noise to discredit the spaces where the informal currency market has been operating as a solution to the Cuban state's inaction on exchange policy," the independent media outlet lamented.

elToque claims to have "evidence of actions aimed at flooding virtual currency trading spaces with false offers to manipulate the algorithm" used to calculate exchange rates.

"So far, they have not succeeded because our security filters have kept our data consistent with actual market movements. If currency prices rise or fall, it is because the aggregate of buyers and sellers genuinely trading currencies follows that behavior," they added.

The independent media outlet emphasized that they have always been "transparent" and are aware of the limitations of their method, primarily that they do not know which documented buy-sell ads are actually completed. Nevertheless, they argue that the calculated rate reflects the central movements of the informal market, even if it is "inherently speculative."

"Volatility is exacerbated by the lack of reliable information and the absence of coherent policies from the Cuban state, the only actor with real corrective influence," they criticized.

New Measures to Counter Manipulation

In response to the influx of new users openly declaring their intention to post fictitious values to influence market sentiment, elToque has decided to "apply a temporary filter" to their calculation method. The aim is to exclude users who posted offers for the first time after April 1, 2024, a date marked by increased instability and publicized "conspiracies."

elToque stated that due to "concerns over the activation of 'cyber fighters' networks and the uncontrolled greed of speculators seeking to maximize profits," they prefer to add another layer of security. Another precautionary measure is to disregard values "clearly exaggerated and far from the average."

They are also implementing lists to register users with clearly manipulative or spam-like behavior. These users "will be automatically and permanently excluded from data collection," they warned.

The independent media outlet, which has been at the center of controversy for several weeks, defended that "the informal currency exchange market has become essential for the functioning of the private sector economy, families, remittance flows, and tourism because the official market is not functional."

They insist that the market is not driven by voluntarism or campaigns and believe that false offers will not permanently change the exchange rate direction but do have the potential to increase volatility and confusion, worsening the already precarious situation.

"Neither the informal exchange market nor a service that makes it visible is the cause of the problems; they reflect the imbalances and inflation affecting the Cuban economy. The solution lies in the hands of the state and those who govern the country, who are the only ones with the institutional capacity to implement economic-fiscal and monetary policy as part of a macroeconomic stabilization program that includes structural reforms," they concluded.

Record Recovery of Currencies

After nearly three weeks of declining values, the euro, dollar, and MLC have marked a recovery for the third consecutive day this Friday. The price of foreign currencies continues to surge in the Cuban informal market, showing signs of increasing at a faster rate than they had dropped.

The dollar rose by 30 pesos, reaching 350 CUP. The euro increased by 20 pesos, now at 355, just five pesos above the U.S. dollar. The Freely Convertible Currency (MLC) increased by 10 pesos, with its average selling price now at 280 CUP. The rapid recovery of currencies has generated hundreds, if not thousands, of opinions in the past 48 hours, ranging from those who regret not selling and waiting, to those who claim "IT'S A LIE" and argue that the actual selling prices diverge from those documented by elToque.

Conspiracy theories accusing elToque of "counterrevolution" are joined by small and medium-sized enterprises organizing campaigns to control the situation, another group accusing the UCI of suspicious moves, and those mocking both sides.

FAQs on elToque's Exchange Rate Controls

In light of elToque's recent announcement, many questions have arisen about their methods and the current state of the informal currency market in Cuba. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers to provide clarity.

Why did elToque strengthen their exchange rate controls?

elToque reinforced their controls to ensure the accuracy and transparency of their exchange rate calculations amid suspicions of false announcements aimed at manipulating currency values.

What measures has elToque implemented to prevent manipulation?

They have applied a temporary filter to exclude new users who posted offers after April 1, 2024, and are disregarding exaggerated values. Additionally, they are creating lists to automatically and permanently exclude users with manipulative or spam-like behavior.

How does the informal currency exchange market impact Cuba's economy?

The informal exchange market is crucial for the private sector economy, families, remittance flows, and tourism, as the official market is not functional. It reflects the imbalances and inflation affecting the Cuban economy.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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