The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is the Central Bank for the Eastern Caribbean dollar and serves as the monetary authority for the members of the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The ECCB controls monetary policy in eight islands where transporting cash 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) pilot within the Eastern Caribbean Currency 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 payment which removes the incentives for businesses to offer customers electronic options.”, stated ECCB Governor Timothy N.J. Antoine last 2 April.