Bitt, the Caribbean's first bitcoin exchange company, is looking to provide more efficient and cost-effective payment solutions to the region's locals.

After a two-year development period, the company will officially launch its set of bitcoin solutions that includes a mobile digital wallet, international remittances services and e-commerce merchant solutions, on March 30.

"We are riding a technology wave with finance that is cutting costs, making it faster, making it cheaper, making it possible for people outside of the banking systems to control their money using their mobile phones," Bitt co-founder Gabriel Abed, told local media outlet Guardian.

The company, which currently runs under beta version, is looking to challenge traditional money transmitters and payment solutions services, by enabling anyone around the world to start accepting bitcoin, and most particularly locals in the Caribbean region, which currently counts an estimated 60% of unbanked or under-banked.

Regulatory uncertainties

On March 12, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) hosted a meeting at ECLAC’s sub-regional headquarters for the Caribbean, to review the opportunities and risks associated with digital currencies.

The meeting included representatives from regional Central Banks and other government agencies, as well as representatives from the digital currency industry, and aimed at developing a legal framework for digital currencies and related technologies.

According to a release:

"Significant value was found in facilitating the discussion of concerns between the fledgling digital currency industry and the agencies that have a responsibility to ensure that adequate regulations are in place to protect the public interest, especially with regard to concerns including consumer protection and the prevention of money laundering."

The organization further announced its plan to review national policies to discuss and address the increasing use of cryptocurrencies and other related technologies in the field of digital payments, "with a view to determining how such new technologies will likely impact the Caribbean."

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean is a United Nations regional commission that aims to encourage economic cooperation. The organization includes 44 members States: 20 from Latin America, 13 from the Caribbean, and 11 from outside the region.

Based in Hasting, Barbados, Bitt is run by an eight-member team and counts among its advisers Bitcoin core developer Peter Todd, senior partner of Hastings Attorneys-at-Law Barry L V Gale, and business and financial consultant Jeremy Stephen. The startup closed a seed-funding round in November 2014. 

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