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Date: 31 May, 2017
Source: The Barbados Nation Newspaper

A new partnership with an American counterpart to offer a new central bank product could be a solution to the banking and derisking challenges in Barbados.

Barbados based Bitt Inc., the architect of blockchain and distributed ledger-based technology, infrastructure for inter-bank transactions and cash digitisation systems for central banks, has joined forces with Netki, 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. Bitt and Netki use a blockchain based central bank digital currency issuance that has the potential to modernise the financial system of the Caribbean region, creating a stronger framework for payment and settlement.

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.”

“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,” added Bitt President and co-founder Oliver Gale.

Justin Newton, Netki CEO spoke on the importance of the project, “…with a digital identity standard in place, financial institutions can realise the benefits of blockchain, expand their service offerings and market coverage”.

A relationship already exists between Bitt and Netki. Bitt uses the digital identity service with its mobile wallet, merchant processor, teller, ATM, debit card, and exchange.