Barbados-based fintech firm Bitt Inc., a portfolio company of Medici Ventures, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Overstock.com focused on the blockchain, and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to conduct a fintech pilot on distributed ledger technology in the ECCB member countries, according to a press release CoinReport received.
Under the pilot, the ECCB will work together with Bitt to create, deploy and examine technology that centers upon Combating the Financing of Terrorism, Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer (CFT/AML/KYC) data compliance, management and transaction monitoring system. This is to better the risk profile of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and extenuate against the trend of de-risking by the correspondent banking partners of the region. The pilot will also center upon creating a secure, resilient digital payment and settlement platform with embedded territorial and worldwide compliance; and the issuance of a digital EC currency that will run alongside physical EC currency.
ECCB governor Timothy N.J. Antoine said in the release we received, “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. Furthermore, 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. To that end, blockchain technology merits our attention and consideration at this time.”
The MOU was signed at the end of a three-day workshop that included teams from Bitt and the ECCB. In the workshop, commercial banks in the ECCU were invited to a special session on the pilot. The input from the banks was the first in a series of steps to outline the practical and non-practical requirements for the pilot.
Bitt CEO Rawdon Adams stated, “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.”
The pilot, which will be conducted under the supervision of the ECCB and in controlled environments, is due to begin later this year.
News of this development comes just weeks following the announcement by Montserrat Premier Donaldson Romeo that his administration intends to begin its own pilot with Bitt. The firm was also in the headlines recently when it received a further investment of $3 million from one of its major shareholders.
Image courtesy of Bitt