BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Saturday April 2, 2016 – The financial technology firm that recently launched a digitized version of the Barbados currency has received a multi-million-dollar investment from US online retailer Overstock.com.
Overstock.com yesterday announced that it is investing an initial US$4 million in Bitt.com, which is working to move Caribbean islands to adopt digital national currencies.
Bitt.com says it intends to use the proceeds from the Overstock.com investment to further its goal of building a financial ecosystem in the Caribbean that remedies the issues which people in the region experience daily, including high frictional fees from banks and other money services operations that make sending money in and out of the region cumbersome and costly.
“Regional small businesses find it financially prohibitive to offer online payment options to consumers and this places a drag on entrepreneurism in the Caribbean,” said Bitt’s chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder, Gabriel Abed.
“Our aim is to use crypto-technology to turn our regional citizens into global citizens, giving them the ability to send or receive money directly via their phones, in seconds, from all corners of the globe.”
In February, Bitt launched a digitized Barbadian Dollar on the bitcoin blockchain, backed by the Central Bank of Barbados. The company intends to digitize all of the fiat currencies found in the Caribbean and place them on the blockchain so they can be easily traded among the islands.
“A major impediment to economic advancement around the world is the fact that the vast majority of humans are unbanked. Yet mobile penetration in some countries exceeds 100 per cent,” Overstock.com’s CEO, Dr. Patrick Byrne pointed out.
“Bitt has a vision for the Caribbean of frictionless mobile cash, beginning with central banks transparently issuing digital fiat which is then exchanged on a blockchain. We respect and endorse that vision, and share a common desire to see online consensual exchange flourish globally.”
Overstock was listed in Forbes’ list of the Top 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in 2014.