BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Mar 12, CMC – St. Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris has hailed the decision by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) to conduct a blockchain-issued Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
“This move by the Central Bank will undoubtedly transform the financial space within the ECCU sub-region, while at the same time enhance economic growth. More importantly, I believe the introduction of a secure digital currency will redound to the overall benefit of the ordinary citizens of the currency union,” Harris said.
Earlier this month, the ECCB said it had reached an agreement with the Barbados-based fintech company, Bitt Inc. (Bitt) and that the pilot project, the first of its kind, will involve a securely minted and issued digital version of the EC dollar (DXCD).
“The digital EC dollar will be distributed and used by Licensed Financial Institutions and Non-Bank Financial Institutions in the ECCU. The DXCD will be used for financial transactions between consumers and merchants, including peer-to-peer transactions, all using smart devices,” the bank said in the statement.
The ECCB said it will reportedly embark on the DXCD pilot from this month and that it would be executed in two phases, namely development and testing, for about 12 months, followed by roll-out and implementation in pilot countries for about six months.
As part of pilot implementation, the Central Bank says it will ramp up its sensitization and education initiatives to facilitate active public engagement throughout all member countries.
The ECCB serves as a central bank for Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts-Nevis and Montserrat.