The Caribbean’s first blockchain-based digital money was launched on Monday by the Barbados based financial technology company, Bitt Inc. The launch took place at Buzo Osteria Italiana, as witnessed by several members of the local business community and the media, signalling a new era of financial inclusion in the Caribbean. Previously, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology had been in the news in the Caribbean in a report that mentioned the viability of the Central Bank of Barbados holding digital currencies as part of its central reserve.
The founders of Bitt Inc. noted that Barbados, like the rest of the Caribbean, has historically had challenges with its banking and financial infrastructure, affecting the prospects of large institutions and the Caribbean people. The technology launched by Bitt is intended to solve this problem.
Oliver Gale, Co-Founder and CFO of Bitt Inc, stated: “The Barbadian Digital Dollar is easy to send to anyone, anywhere, with a few gestures on your mobile device. Commerce can be done with less friction, payment can be made instantly, auditors can cryptographically verify the signatures with unparalleled security,”
Gabriel Abed, Co-founder and CEO, said: “The company makes it clear that the digital Barbados dollar is not the same asset as the now well-known cryptocurrency: bitcoin. “One of our digital Barbados dollars is equivalent to one dollar issued by the Central Bank of Barbados. What we do is allow people to do more with their money,” said
By enabling all the currencies in the Caribbean to be used on the blockchain, it is expected that Bitt will potentially act as a much needed settlement service for the region. Abed stated: “I want to position Bitt to become the heart of the Caribbean’s settlement system,”
Established two years ago based on funding from Avatar, a Trinidadian investment company, Bitt’s ecosystem focuses on digital asset exchange, mobile wallets, remittance and merchant solutions, and has the capacity to continuously develop and expand its core services. Trinidadian businessman Peter George, speaking on behalf of the investors, noted his satisfaction with Bitt’s vision and performance to date. Describing the Bitt team as ‘revolutionaries’ he revealed that the investors had already received returns.