The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is the Central Bank for the Eastern Caribbean dollarMonetary unit of the United States of America, and a number of other countries e.g. Australia, Canada and New Zealand. More and serves as the monetary authoritySee Central Bank More for the members of the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The ECCB controls monetary policy in eight islands where transporting cashMoney in physical form such as banknotes and coins. More between regions can pose logistical challenges.
In hopes of lessening the costs of its current financial services, ECCB together with the Barbados-based fintech company, Bitt Inc. have signed a contract to conduct a blockchain-issued Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)A digital payment instrument, denominated in the national unit of account, and a direct liability of the central bank, like banknotes. A general purpose CBDC can be used by the public for day-to-day payments like cash. More pilot within the Eastern Caribbean CurrencyThe money used in a particular country at a particular time, like dollar, yen, euro, etc., consisting of banknotes and coins, that does not require endorsement as a medium of exchange. More Union (ECCU).
The ECCB CBDC pilot is the first of its kind and would be the world’s first blockchain-based Digital Currency. ECCB has stated its commitment of reducing the use of cash and cheques to make up for the high-cost associated with certain banking services.
The bank, however, has no intention of eliminating the use of cash noting its convenience and important role it plays in the economy. “We should also acknowledge that small business also faces real constraints where some businesses are required to pay as much as 3.5% on every credit card paymentA transfer of funds which discharges an obligation on the part of a payer vis-à-vis a payee. More which removes the incentives for businesses to offer customers electronic options.”, stated ECCB Governor Timothy N.J. Antoine last 2 April.