Bitt is a financial technology (FinTech) company aiming to improve the efficiency of banking across the Caribbean. Here’s our Bitt review.
What Is Bitt?
Bitt is a Caribbean digital asset exchange and settlement service that boasts military-grade security, a high-frequency trading platform, and an easy-to-use trading interface.
There are two core parts of the Bitt system: the Bitt Wallet (marketed towards consumers) and the Bitt settlement service (marketed towards Caribbean financial institutions who wish to take advantage of blockchain technology).
The company was founded in 2013. So far, it has received $5.5 million in funding. Founders of the company include Oliver Gale and Gabriel Abed.
Bitt is headquartered in Hastings, Barbados.
Why The Caribbean?
Why is the Caribbean such a ripe market for cryptocurrencies? What makes digital asset exchanges like Bitt so important? Well, as one recent press release from the company explained,
“Across more than 7,000 islands, the Caribbean has 13 sovereign island nations and 12 dependent territories, most with their own financial system and currency.”
In other words, the Caribbean financial system is fragmented and inefficient. The vision is to connect the Caribbean with a settlement network like Bitt.
The Caribbean has another problem that Bitt plans to solve: just like Mexico and parts of Latin America, the Caribbean is under-served by financial institutions. Many residents don’t have fast access to banks. That means they lack access to credit, bank accounts, and other basic financial services. Bitt aims to solve this problem.
One final problem is the issue of de-risking: many major banks and US financial institutions have de-risked local Caribbean banks based on perceived higher risks and lower returns. This prevents Caribbean banks from accessing foreign markets.
It can also hurt merchants and customers who can’t access foreign banks and financial institutions – which further makes life difficult for residents of the Caribbean.
How Does Bitt Work?
Bitt has created a wallet – the Bitt Walt – that lets you send and receive money over their exchange. The exchange promises to be a faster, cheaper, and smarter way to exchange money.
To get started with Bitt, you setup your wallet. The setup process is straightforward and easy to understand – even if you’re new to the world of digital asset trading.
Earlier in 2017, Bitt made headlines for partnering with Netki, a US-based provider of open source and open standards compliance solutions for blockchains. In other words, they’re blockchain specialists, and Bitt plans to implement their blockchain tools into their business.
Bitt and Netki provide their exchange solution using a blockchain-based central bank digital currency issuance. Essentially, the goal is to re-create the current financial structure using a blockchain-based solution. That blockchain-based solution has five enormous advantages:
- Easy for anyone with internet to access
- Low cost
- Easy to use
- Highly efficient
One of Netki’s core contributions to Bitt thus far has been its Digital Identity Service. This makes the blockchain more attractive to conventional financial institutions. Banks in the region can implement the blockchain into their service while ensuring they know their customers’ identities.
The Digital Identity Service is currently used with Bitt’s Mobile Wallet, Merchant Processor, Teller, ATM, Debit Card, and Exchange.
What does the Digital Identity Service specifically do? The service manages the onboarding process through identification, know your customer requirements, and compliance. Netki issues certificates for communication between peers using the BIP75 protocol. With this protocol, identities can be exchanged to meet risk and compliance regulations.
Ultimately, the advantage of Netki’s Digital Identity Service is beyond just customer identification: it streamlines the onboarding of new customers, which ultimately makes it more efficient for banks and merchants to use the service.
Meanwhile, Bitt’s contribution is to provide the payment network that interconnects the Caribbean using the blockchain to form the Caribbean Settlement Network.
How Does The Bitt Wallet Work?
Bitt’s technology is being marketed towards financial institutions in the Caribbean. However, their Bitt Wallet is marketed towards average individuals who need a quick, secure, and easy way to manage funds.
In 2016, Bitt launched the Barbados Dollar on its blockchain in an effort to appeal to users in the underbanked country. Today, some of the advantages of Bitt include:
- Anyone can access their mobile wallet through the app (available for Android and iOS), which means your money is as mobile as you are
- Accept payments from anywhere, instantly, with Bitt’s merchant tools (receiving a payment from a customer is as easy as displaying a QR code, then having the customer scan the code with his or her app)
- Buy and sell Bitcoin using Bitt’s easy-to-use exchange platform
Bitt was co-founded by Gabriel Abed (CEO) and Oliver Gale (CFO). Other key members of the team include Simon Chantry (COO) and John Macdougall (CTO).
Bitt was founded in 2013. The company is headquartered in Hastings, Barbados. Here’s how the company sums up its mission on their official LinkedIn page:
“Bitt is a Financial Technology (FinTech) company that utilizes distributed ledger technology to improve speed, efficiency and significantly reduce the costs of the payment system.”
Bitt has two core services at the moment: a Bitt Wallet catered towards individuals in the Caribbean. And the settlement service, which is aiming to add all Caribbean financial institutions to a blockchain to make them more efficient than ever before.
The Bitt Wallet is the sole consumer access point to the entire Bitt ecosystem. It’s designed to be an accessible solution for residents of the Caribbean who are under served by the current banking system.
We’ll keep you posted on more information about Bitt as the company continues to expand across the Caribbean and adds more institutions to its blockchain.