Caribbean Bitcoin Startup Bitt Receives Funding From Overstock
Online retailer Overstock.com, Inc. has made a strategic investment in a Caribbean-based financial technology firm Bitt.com. Overstock.com is investing $4 million in Bitt initially.
The announcement was made at a media conference in Barbados attended by principals from both Bitt and Overstock.com, in addition to dignitaries from various Caribbean nations.
“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 (all under proper regulatory oversight, as with our t0 offering to Wall Street),” said Overstock.com CEO Dr. Patrick M. Byrne. “We respect and endorse that vision, and share a common desire to see online consensual exchange flourish globally. As they say around these parts, ‘One love’.”
Bitt.com said in a blog post that it has closed its Series A investment round with a staggered investment from Overstock.com of $16 million, placing the company’s valuation at $50 million. It is working to move island nations in the Caribbean to adopt digital national currencies. The company plans to use the proceeds from the investment to further develop its software suite which includes a digital asset exchange, a mobile money wallet, a remittance platform, and merchant payment processing tools. In addition, Bitt will rapidly expand, growing its staff to meet the goals of providing a top-quality service that will encompass the entire Caribbean region.
“Overstock.com has always been at the forefront of cutting edge technology as it seeks to expand its reach to customers both domestically and globally. Patrick [Byrne] is a deeply principled man who has battled relentlessly to level the playing field, and who has not been afraid to blaze new trails. I could not have envisioned a better fit for Bitt than this”, said Principal Bitt investor Peter George.
Bitt launched a digitized Barbadian Dollar on the bitcoin blockchain, backed by the Central Bank of Barbados, in February this year. It intends to digitize all fiat currencies found in the Caribbean and place them on the blockchain so they can be easily traded among the islands, bringing modern solutions to a region historically limited by inefficient exchange and settlement systems.