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Bitt Launches Digital Fiat Dollar In Barbados
Bitt, a Caribbean based digital asset exchange, has launched a blockchain-based version of the Barbadian dollar. With this new offering, the company hopes its service to appeal to underbanked users in its home country, CoinDesk reported.
Bitt primarily focuses on providing access to cryptocurrencies in emerging markets. It claims to offer a high frequency trading platform with military grade security and an easy-to-use trading interface. Launched in 2015, it has so far raised $1.5 million and comprises of a team of 16 employees.
The launch of the blockchain-based currency follows two days of local engagement that includes a private launch on Monday and an international launch on Tuesday that took place along with the Financial Cryptography and Data Security 2016 conference in Barbados.
Gabriel Abed, Bitt CEO told CoinDesk that the official launch moves the startup toward third phase of its launch plan.
“Our goal as an organization is to build an ecosystem. We launched our exchange nine months ago. Now, we’ve launched our second phase, the digital fiat dollar. Whatever you want to call it, it’s the dollar in Barbados digitized as an IOU that can be sent and received”, he added.
He further said that the company now plans to develop a teller and ATM network to enable users to exchange digital dollars and bitcoin for hard currency, and to better position it compete against remittance giants such as MoneyGram and Western Union.
Moreover, the startup will also seek to equip its mobile app to enable users to perform know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) checks as necessary to help it build a network for currency exchange, he added.
Co-founders Abed and Oliver Gale, said that local banks were not much interested to join the digital currency revolution, though Bitt’s operation had received support from the Central Bank of Barbados and the Financial Services Commission (FSC), Nation News reported. In addition, the startup has also received support from Trinidadian investor Peter George, who has invested a “substantial sum behind the local company”.