London-based Bitcoin wallet company, Caricoin is trying to start up a Bitcoin exchange in Jamaica. Caricoin is pitching to the Bank of Jamaica for support in creating their Caribbean exchange which aims to merge Bitcoin with the Caribbean banking system.

The BoJ proposal

Till date, Caricoin does not have an official proposal and is currently working on putting it together. They hope that the BoJ will embrace Bitcoin as other banks have with its technology which could put the Bank of Jamaica in a good position to develop Blockchain-based Fintech solutions with a Caricoin-BoJ partnership.

Karsten Becker, Regulatory Advisor spoke to Cointelegraph on Caricoin’s plans:

“Getting the approvals to run an exchange will enable us to cross this bridge by permitting our users to link their bank accounts or debit cards directly to their Bitcoin wallets, and to use this new functionality to easily buy and sell Bitcoin.”

Caricoin is also targeting local merchants as well to sell goods online for Bitcoin. With the current Caribbean e-commerce requirements, this gives merchants the ability to cash their Bitcoin for fiat currency as they push to online stores and grow their customer bases. Since Bitcoin is almost accepted world-wide, Jamaican e-commerce limits can now be shattered with Bitcoin.

Caricoin’s current position

The company itself is regulated in the UK and is preparing documents to present to the Bank. Since Jamaica has an Electronic Transactions Act, Caricoin can speed up transactions using cryptocurrency rather than the traditional banking system.

“Caricoin was created by a group of Jamaicans living abroad and we thought at home was the best place to kick things off for the region,” adds Becker.

Becker says that Caricoin is focusing on Bitcoin and is the only digital currency in the Caribbean that is getting attraction, however they plan to experiment with Ethereum’s Blockchain for Fintech advancements.

“Due to the massive benefits to be gained by using Bitcoin in our developing region, we envision a new era where Bitcoin will truly complement traditional currencies and allow people from the Caribbean to be a larger part of the global financial community - we call this ‘financial inclusion’.”

The road ahead

It has been 3 months since they released in the Caribbean and since Bitcoin is not regulated, it does not break any Caribbean financial rules, unless integrated with local banking. During the Caricoin system pilot, Becker said they injected $55,000 worth of Bitcoin into the app and was a huge success. From Turks & Caicos to Barbados people used it for mobile top-ups and online shopping.

“We have spoken with a few fiat exchanges that are interested in opening up their platforms so their users can trade in the digital markets” said Becker.

Caricoin establishing itself in Jamaica will make it the first Bitcoin exchange in the country. With its 3 month old user base, it could be a positive milestone for Bitcoin in the Caribbean as more people will explore its financial benefits. The approval of the Bank of Jamaica will be one more step to integrate Bitcoin into the Caribbean economy.