Overstock’s CEO has a reputation for having an affinity for digital currency — which has been reflected in Overstock’s business plans — and now, the company has taken that vision a step further.
The company announced late last week a $4 million investment in Bitt, a Caribbean-based FinTech firm that aims to help digital currency adoption grow in that region.
“A major impediment to economic advancement around the world is the fact that the vast majority of humans are unbanked. Yet, mobile penetration, in some countries, exceeds 100 percent. Bitt has a vision for the Caribbean of frictionless mobile cash, beginning with central banks transparently issuing digital fiat, which is then exchanged on a blockchain (all under proper regulatory oversight, as with our t0 offering to Wall Street),” said Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne. “We respect and endorse that vision and share a common desire to see online consensual exchange flourish globally. As they say around these parts, ‘One love.’”
As for what Bitt plans to do with the investment: furthering its goal of building a financial ecosystem across the region in order to remove friction from the money transfer operations across the countries. Bitt has mostly launched a digitized Barbadian dollar on the bitcoin blockchain, backed by the Central Bank of Barbados.
The company’s goal is to digitize all of the fiat currencies in the Caribbean and have them run across the blockchain to be traded along the islands.
“Regional small businesses find it financially prohibitive to offer online payment options to consumers, and this places a drag on entrepreneurism in the Caribbean,” said Bitt CEO and Cofounder Gabriel Abed. “Our aim is to use cryptotechnology to turn our regional citizens into global citizens, giving them the ability to send or receive money directly via their phones, in seconds, from all corners of the globe.”