September 2nd, 2020, Barbados – 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, CEO 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.
About Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator: The Accelerator is an entrepreneurial engine that catalyzes and accelerates priority initiatives toward a Climate-Smart Zone, delivering resilience, social development, and broad-based economic growth for the Caribbean. Their central objective is to help transform the region’s economy by fast-tracking sound public and private investment opportunities that support climate action and economic growth through sustainable development. Drawing on the deep experience of our nations and institutions, a group of twenty-six visionary Caribbean Governments, alongside some of the largest global companies, financial institutions, and foundations have joined The Accelerator to make the Caribbean a beacon of climate-smart development.