Author: Gerard Ferreira
The Caribbean can be a tiny place. You meet someone in foreign and their tanty is your cousin’s schoolmate. When it comes to developing or still-niche areas like Cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology though, the Caribbean can seem as large as 25 disparate countries.
That said, regional characteristics such as uber-bureaucracy, hating people ‘macoing yuh business’, being overlooked by international platforms and having under-supported SMEs create the perfect platform for cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology.
Individuals from around the Caribbean have thus taken up the mantle, bringing years of expertise and knowledge from around the globe to the region.
Caribbean Crypto History 101
While the Blockchain/Crypto scene here is still in relative infancy, the combined efforts of these innovators has led to growth in areas like education, investing and trading, mining and Blockchain development.
The flagship example launched in 2019, when the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and Barbados-based, Bitt Inc., partnered to run a pilot programme in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) that created the world’s first Blockchain-based Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). This ground-breaking event saw the ECCB mint a digital version of the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (DXCD) as legal tender, to be used in transactions like daily purchases and bill payment.
Cryptocurrency exchanges have also been tried, with varying success. These seek to enable purchase of cryptocurrencies, using local currencies, without needing credit cards or forex. Zaboca.io is one of the latest, acting as an exchange for Bitcoin, while individuals like ‘Sell Your Stuff’ CEO, Jarryon Paul, work personally to get crypto into Caribbean hands.
Regional Blockchain Education
Due to technology adoption traditionally moving like molasses in the region, however, education is a predominant focus.
The Caribbean Blockchain Alliance (www.cbahub.org) was thus created as “…an NGO dedicated to promoting the adoption of Blockchain technology in the region.” The CBA and its President, Bahamian Stefan Devereaux work towards expanding regional awareness and adoption of Blockchain.
Gabriel Abed (Barbados), Mark Pereira (T&T) and Johns Beharry (Bahamas) are but a few who continue to work tirelessly towards regional Blockchain and crypto adoption. There’s a lot to include about their efforts, so a search of their work is definitely suggested.
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