Bitt founders Gabriel Abed (left) and Oliver Gale. (GP)
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BARBADOS-BASED FINANCIAL technology pioneer Bitt Inc. has joined forces with an American counterpart to offer a new central bank product that could be a solution to the correspondent banking and derisking challenge.
News of the partnership was announced last week at the digital currency conference, Consensus, in New York.
Bitt is the architect of blockchain and distributed ledger-based technology, infrastructure for inter-bank transactions and cash digitisation systems for central banks. Netki is a provider of open source and open standards compliance solutions for blockchains.
The two companies say they will be providing the first production platform for central banks using Netki’s digital identity service.
Officials explained that Bitt and Netki “provide the solution through a blockchain based central bank digital currency issuance that has the potential to modernise the financial system of the Caribbean region, thereby ushering in the establishment of a stronger payment and settlement framework with unprecedented levels of economic growth”.
Commenting on the new venture, Bitt chief executive officer and co-founder Gabriel Abed said: “Bitt joined forces with Netki as part of our ongoing initiative to bolster compliance efforts and provide an effective means for all people, including under-banked individuals to engage in the global economy through digital payments that are low-cost, secure, easy to use and highly efficient.”
Bitt president and co-founder Oliver Gale added: “Correspondent banks have derisked some local Caribbean banks based on perceived higher risk and lower returns. This prevents these local Caribbean banks from having access to foreign markets and also hurts merchants and customers who are unable to access foreign banks and financial institutions.”
Netki CEO Justin Newton said the project was important because “with a digital identity standard in place, financial institutions can realise the benefits of blockchain, expand their service offerings and market coverage”.
He added that his company’s digital identity service allowed financial institutions to “meet risk and compliance regulations” that were necessary for new innovation, inclusion and value creation to happen on the blockchain.
Bitt already has a relationship with Netki as the locally-based firm used the digital identity service with its mobile wallet, merchant processor, teller, ATM, debit card, and exchange. (SC/PR)