Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to Pilot Bitt Blockchain Tech
Bitt Inc., the Barbados-based blockchain startup, has landed a pilot deal with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.
A portfolio company of Overstock's Medici Ventures arm, Bitt said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the ECCB to test its technology for know-your-customer, anti-money-laundering and combating the financing of terrorism procedures within the central bank's member nations.
Those member nations include Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Launching next year, the pilot will be restricted to controlled environments and supervised by the bank, according to a press release. The results could be used to develop more effective digital payment and settlement systems, and may also be used to help issue a digital currency for the region.
Bitt will specifically look to track data management, compliance and transaction monitoring, according to the press release.
ECCB governor Timothy Antoine said the pilot is part of the bank's 2017-2021 strategic plan. He continued:
"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."
Details about how long the pilot will last or when its results would be available were not available.
However, the press release did note that any digital currency issued would be used alongside the region's existing fiat currency.
Bitt previously worked with a U.S. blockchain startup, Netki, to develop a payment network in Barbados, and developed a digitized version of the Barbadian dollar.
Caribbean beach image via Shutterstock