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Crypto Carib: Hotter Than Davos

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The Crypto Caribbean is Hotter Than Davos

  • Decentralized finance conferences in the Caribbean attract attention
  • Caribbean fintech startups focus on payments infrastructure and remittances
  • Innovations in central banking and digital currencies discussed at the conferences

Many crypto leaders attended events in Davos, Switzerland, but the Caribbean became the focus of attention this week as it hosted two decentralized finance conferences. The Oasis Onchain summit took place in Nassau, Bahamas, while the Fintech Islands conference occurred in Barbados.

The Oasis Onchain summit in the Bahamas was a three-day event that focused on retail consumers and culture. The event organizer, Stefen Deleveaux, emphasized the grassroots nature of the crypto revolution and how it can bring about meaningful change.

Meanwhile, the Fintech Islands conference in Barbados emphasized innovations in payments infrastructure and featured prominent Haitian American founders. The Caribbean receives a significant amount of remittances from the United States, and local fintech startups are aiming to improve the efficiency and security of remittance payments. CellPay, a U.S.-based company founded by Haitian entrepreneurs, has been working to overcome regulatory hurdles in order to facilitate cash-to-goods remittances.

Haiti’s government and central bank are also focuses of innovation in the Caribbean. The Central Bank of Haiti recently enacted a new Electronic Payment Regulatory Framework, which allows for more efficient and secure electronic payment systems in the country. CellPay and other entities are exploring the possibilities of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Haiti, with CellPay working on a CBDC pilot project in collaboration with EMTECH ECH.

EMTECH ECH specializes in helping central banks deploy CBDCs in an efficient and compliant manner. During the conference, EMTECH CEO Carmelle Cadet announced a partnership with Kanoo Pays, a company that can process secure CBDC payments. The alliance aims to build the next generation of digital infrastructure and promote financial inclusion in Africa and the Caribbean.

The Caribbean has been at the forefront of fintech innovation and decentralized finance. Barbados established the first embassy in the metaverse in 2021, while Bermuda’s Premier, David Burt, was part of the first crypto delegation at the World Economic Forum in 2019. The Crypto Caribbean is a key region in the global innovation economy.

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