Cryptocurrency Firm Bitt Partners Eastern Caribbean Central Bank For Blockchain Pilot

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has partnered with with Barbados-based cryptocurrency firm Bitt to conduct a blockchain pilot in the ECCB member countries.

The ECCB is the monetary authority for a group of eight island economies in the Caribbean, namely Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Founded in 2013, Bitt is a financial technology company that utilizes distributed ledger technology (DLT) to offer digital payment products and services, including digital asset issuance software. It provides a way to trade legal tender for digital assets and vice versa, as well as to trade one type of digital asset for another type of digital asset. The company also offers a mobile wallet that empowers users to send and receive money globally from their mobile devices or PCs; and send payments for goods or services locally over the Internet or directly to friends and family.

Under the partnership, the ECCB will work closely with Bitt to develop, deploy and test technology which focus on know your customer, anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (KYC/AML/CFT) data management, compliance and transaction monitoring system. The goal is to improve the risk profile of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and mitigate against the trend of de-risking by the region’s correspondent banking partners.

The pilot will also focus on developing a secure, resilient digital payment and settlement platform with embedded regional and global compliance; and the issuance of a digital EC currency which will operate alongside physical EC currency. The pilot is due to commence later this year and will be conducted under the supervision of the ECCB, and in controlled environments.

The collaboration is the culmination of a three-day workshop which involved teams from the ECCB and Bitt. As part of the workshop, commercial banks in the ECCU were invited to a special session on the pilot and their feedback marked the first in a series of steps to define the functional and non-functional requirements for the pilot project.

Timothy N. J. Antoine, Governor of the ECCB, said this FinTech pilot is part of the Bank’s Strategic Plan 2017-2021. The aim of the pilot is to ascertain the suitability of blockchain technology to help boost economic growth and competitiveness in the region consistent with the ECCB’s monetary and financial stability objectives.

“As the ECCB promotes the safety and soundness of the financial system in the ECCU, it also has a responsibility to encourage and support innovation consistent with the bank’s mandate to facilitate the balanced growth and development of member countries,” said Antoine. “To that end, blockchain technology merits our attention and consideration at this time.”

“We are proud to collaborate with the ECCB in the development of this pilot study to explore technological solutions to some of the all too real problems affecting the region, its institutions and most importantly its people,” Rawdon Adams, CEO of Bitt, said.

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