Bank of the Republic of Haiti ready to consider Digital Currency
La Banque de la République d’Haiti (BRH) invited Barbados-based fintech company, Bitt, to deliver a presentation on the likely benefits of a blockchain-based Central Bank Digital Currency to key stakeholders in Haiti last month.
According to BRH, they are “considering a pilot to create a digital version of the Haitian Gourde, which aims to improve the domestic payments system and promote financial inclusion in Haiti”.
Bitt’s invitation to Haiti came on the heels of a recent IMF study highlighting the cost-cutting benefits and inclusiveness of financial technology, especially as it related to inbound remittances to the Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Currently, over USD3 billion is remitted to Haiti – that’s over 30% of its GDP. World Bank data indicates that the fees paid on those remittances can be as much as 19%. Every 1% reduction in those costs is over USD30m a year more in the pockets of the people who need it most.” stated Rawdon Adams, Chief Executive Officer of Bitt.
Adams continued, “Haiti can leverage Bitt’s full range of solutions – but above all our central bank digital currency solution. Today only 32% of Haitians are banked, yet 64% have mobile telephones. A central bank digital currency would connect existing fragmented, closed-loop financial service offerings in the country. Mobile wallets and licensed financial institutions would be able to interoperate, innovate and compete more effectively. All transactions – including remittances – become vastly cheaper, faster and more secure. Ultimately, Bitt’s technology helps boost financial inclusion, complements cash whilst mitigating its costs and risks and promotes socio-economic growth.”