Caribbean (CC BY 2.0) by serial
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- Banking issues may be hampering business in the Caribbean at the moment, but that doesn't mean the route to market is completely closed. According to a recent article by Bravenewcoin.com
, local company Bitt is creating new trading pathways between Caribbean business both inside and outside the region.
Over the last few months, de-risking strategies by some major banks have meant that smaller islands have been left to fend for themselves. With an ever-decreasing supply of banks to process foreign transactions, businesses in the Caribbean have started to struggle. Fortunately, however, technology appears to be saving that day.
Bitt Bringing Bitcoin to Businesses
Bitcoin (CC BY 2.0) by btckeychain
Bitt, the Caribbean's first Bitcoin exchange and trading platform, is now providing businesses with new ways to trade. Thanks to Bitcoin's decentralised nature and lack of geographical limitations (Bitcoin isn't country-specific), Caribbean businesses are able to complete trades not only between islands, but with international investors without the need for banks.
Although in its infancy, the market appears to be responding enthusiastically. Bitt has already reported 33% month-on-month growth since it secured $16 million in funding from Overstock.com. In fact, joining Bitt in the market in the last few months is Caricoin. Exploiting the ease of local access to smartphones, Caricoin is now offering Bitcoin wallet services to those in the Caribbean; in particular Jamaican dollar users who want to convert their local currency to the cryptocurrency.
A Model for Success from International Business
Pay with Bitcoin (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Lars Plougmann
With business booming and new innovations hitting the market, there's every chance Bitcoin could become a mainstream currency across the Caribbean in the coming years. As more businesses start to see the benefit of trading in the digital currency, it should naturally follow that more people will take advantage of the services on offer. Indeed, this is a trend we're already seeing in other parts of the world.
Vegas Casino is part of an iGaming industry worth in excess of $41 billion, but unlike its peers, it doesn't trade in traditional currencies. Instead, Vegas
Casino allows players to deposit, play and withdraw funds using Bitcoin. The benefits of this from a business perspective are numerous. Aside from the added security Bitcoin offers through its anonymous transactions, players at Vegas Casino are able to play in the same currency regardless of where they live. Unlike similar sites that convert national currencies into one single currency (i.e. Dollar or Euro), Vegas Casino puts everyone on a level playing field.
Security and Efficiency Should Boost Caribbean Businesses
Keeping in Touch (KIT) (CC BY-SA 2.0) by mikecogh
The same too could be said for Microsoft and Expedia
. By offering Bitcoin payment options for Xbox Live add-ons and holidays respectively, these companies are able to eliminate issues such as currency conversion changes. Moreover, any business trading in Bitcoin can reduce its risk of chargebacks. Unlike credit card payments which can be reversed by banks on the user's request (in the case of suspected fraud etc), Bitcoin transactions can't be reversed. This dynamic means that businesses don't have to worry about being hit with an unexpected bill.
The end result for these operators already in service is a more secure, more efficient business model and that's something many Caribbean companies could benefit from. As Bitt has already shown, Bitcoin works in the region and there are already a number of businesses on board with the system. Once you factor in greater public access to Bitcoin through wallets such as Caricoin, it's easy to see why any business working with digital currency could now escape any banking issues and thrive in a modern marketplace.