Caribbean bitcoin exchange Bitt has been seeing a flurry of activity and increase in users month-over-month, since February. To be exact, the exchange is saying they have had an increase of 33% each month of new users that want to buy and sell bitcoin.
Bitt is the first digital currency and commodity trading platform serving the Caribbean region. And in an interview with BraveNewCoin, Bitt CEO Gabriel Abed is saying that the exchange is experiencing new growth due to a few key reasons which are helping them be successful.
The first major reason that Bitt is growing so fast is due to the de-risking problems hitting the island region. Smaller, poorer countries are being abandoned by big banks. According to BNC, in the Caribbean the problem is getting so bad that local businesses regularly have a hard time receiving remittances and paying suppliers outside of their own country, even when their trading partner is just the next island over.
The IMF has stepped in to try to have regulators do more to help banks maintain relationships, however without much success so far. Due to this, citizens are turning to alternative currencies such as bitcoin because they have been forced to since they are now unbanked.
In April, Bitt announced a historic investment partnership when it closed its Series A investment round with a staggered investment from retail giant Overstock.com of $16 million USD, placing the company’s valuation at $50 million USD. Bitt then started offering a central bank backed digital token of the Barbadian Dollar inside of their bitcoin wallet.
These two events have catapulted the exchange in the Caribbean region. “Bitt has experienced a 33% increase in users each month since February,” primarily from organic search engine traffic, said Gabriel Abed.
“When you combine a dearth of financial services with heavy dependence on transfers of wealth from abroad,” he said, “you end up with an exploitative system that bitcoin and blockchain technology are primed to disrupt.”
The CEO of the exchange went on to add that that Bitt will deploy a new set of novel blockchain financial tools and products by the end of this year. Earlier this month, Bitt partnered with Netcents to utilize their payments gateway.
The demand for bitcoin in the Caribbean has also spawned a new bitcoin wallet service. Caricoin, which launched in June, is a simple bitcoin wallet that allows users to send, receive, and store bitcoin using their mobile Android app. The wallet supports Jamaican Dollars (JMD), and one of the features is it lets users top up their mobile accounts and add airtime on any mobile phone in the Caribbean.