The central bank of Caribbean islands Curaçao and Sint Maarten is teaming up with Overstock-owned blockchain firm Bitt to explore the creation of a digital currency.
Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten (CBCS), which is in charge of monetary policy for the two former Netherlands Antilles island territories, wants to look into the feasibility of creating a digital guilder.
To help it do this, the CBCS has inked an MoU with Bitt - a Barbados-based portfolio company of Medici Ventures, which is itself owned by US e-commerce firm Overstock - to help it determine the viability and functionality of such a system.
Leila Matroos-Lasten, acting president, CBCS, says: "The central bank is determined to address its challenges proactively by exploring the latest technology available, for example, to reduce the level of cash usage within the monetary union, and to facilitate more secure, more AML and KYC compliant, and more efficient financial transactions within and between Curaçao and Sint Maarten."
The MoU comes soon after Bitt struck a similar deal with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, which like CBCS oversees members of a monetary union.
Rwadon Adams, CEO, Bitt, says: "A central bank issued digital currency is of particular relevance in a monetary union where member states are separated by long distances - or the ocean - as with the ECCU, and the situation of Curaçao and Sint Maarten.
"This makes the Central Bank's task of printing and distributing physical cash securely across member states that much more challenging and costly. A central bank issued digital currency, which can be used on mobile wallets, facilitates secure and frictionless financial transactions and payments, using a mobile phone/tablet, within each jurisdiction and across jurisdictions in the monetary union."