21 June 2021, Bridgetown, Barbados – DCash is set to be the world’s first case-study of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) used in rebuilding lives after a natural disaster. Developed by global fintech company, Bitt, and issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), the CBDC will be issued in the volcano-struck territory of Saint Vincent and The Grenadines (SVG) by early July 2021.
Since April 2021, citizens of the Eastern Caribbean territory have been restoring infrastructure and livelihoods since a series of eruptions from the decades-dormant La Soufrière volcano. Having recognised the critical task of rebuilding that economy, Bitt and the ECCB are working expeditiously to facilitate the rollout of DCash to benefit the citizens and residents of SVG.
According to Bitt’s CEO, Brian Popelka, “Free cross-border person-to-person DCash transactions and the ability to exchange between cash and DCash will immediately transform the lives of those who have been impacted by the volcanic eruptions. The efficacy of DCash in rebuilding after a natural disaster will be another ‘world’s first’ for Bitt’s Digital Currency Management System (DCMS)”.
Bitt’s DCMS allows the ECCB to securely mint and issue DCash to participating financial institutions within the pilot countries. The immediate objective of launching DCash in SVG is to provide faster, safer and cheaper remote person-to-person financial transactions, especially the exchange of DCash for physical cash. Authorised entities, known as DCash Merchant Tellers, will facilitate these DCash and physical cash exchanges. DCash users, in SVG or any of the other pilot countries, will be able to send much-needed funds directly to individuals in need or to relief organizations. Multidisciplinary teams from Bitt are actively collaborating with ECCB officials to quickly establish and promote the SVG DCash Merchant Teller network.
Bitt’s DCMS equips central banks, financial institutions, businesses, organizations and consumers with the relevant digital currency management components necessary to participate in fully digital transactions for the post-COVID-19 economy.
Using the DCash Wallet App, users can make in-person or remote transactions to and from other DCash Wallet holders or merchants. The DCash Merchant App allows businesses to manage transactions between consumers and other businesses including vendor payments, e-commerce, and internal cash or DCash management.
DCash has been in public circulation in four of the eight ECCB member countries – Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis and Saint Lucia, since 31 March 2021. The ECCB plans to issue DCash to all eight member countries by the end of September 2021.