Caribbean Climate – Smart Accelerator and Bitt sign MOU
The Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator and the Barbados-based fintech company Bitt Inc., are working to minimize downtime in the region’s financial system after natural disasters. The two entities signed a memorandum of understanding on September 1st 2020. This three-year agreement will ensure that the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator will sensitize its coalition countries to the benefits of secure, cost-effective digital payments solutions, including central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) provided by Bitt.
According to Bitt’s Chief Economist, Marla Dukharan, “As climate change increases the frequency and severity of storms and other disasters in the Caribbean, climate adaptive and resilient reforms have become critical to our very survival. In a post-disaster scenario, the ability to send and receive payments and remittances, having access to your funds, and being able to distribute relief, are usually absent for days, and sometimes even months. A CBDC network is probably the most secure and robust solution to these challenges”.
“What we’ve learned painfully from this pandemic is how interdependent we are and equally how fragile our economies are. Innovations like these help us to build our economic, as well as our physical resilience, against exogenous shocks. We have to be stronger and build back better on a more sturdy foundation. This is why this is such a priority for us,” remarked Racquel Moses of the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator.
There are many benefits to be derived from issuing a CBDC, particularly for cash-intensive economies like we have in the Caribbean, where financial inclusion is relatively low, and where remittances are significant. This solution allows us to boost financial inclusion while driving down the cost of financial transactions, thereby improving efficiency and ease of doing business.