Bitt.com co-founders ink the deal with Overstock. (Barbados Today image)
By NAN Business Editor
News Americas, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Fri. April 8, 2016: A tiny start-up in the Caribbean could hold the power to move island nations across region forward in the adoption of digital national currencies.
Bitt.com CEO and Co-Founder, Gabriel Abed, definitely has the vision to move the company and the region forward. So much so that he recently attracted a USD4 million investment from US-traded online retail company, Overstock.com, Inc.
Overstock says it’s made the strategic investment in the Caribbean-based financial technology firm because of the company’s “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).”
“We respect and endorse that vision, and share a common desire to see online consensual exchange flourish globally,” said Overstock.com CEO Dr. Patrick M. Byrne recently at a media conference in Barbados attended by principals from both Bitt and Overstock.com.
Bitt.com says it intends to use the proceeds from the 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 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.”
Bitt is already moving its agenda forward after a two-year development period. In February of 2016, Bitt launched a digitized Barbadian Dollar on the bitcoin blockchain, backed by the Central Bank of Barbados.
The company now 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, bringing modern solutions to a region historically limited by inefficient exchange and settlement systems.