EMTECH, with headquarters in New York City, today announced a partnership with WiPay Caribbean, the largest online payments network in the Caribbean, to develop a pilot Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), "WiCoin," that will integrate with WiPay's regional network for distribution by participating Caribbean Central Banks.
The Caribbean region leads in the deployment of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), with the Bahamas launching the world’s first Central Bank-issued currency the "Sand Dollar" in 2020. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is conducting a pilot for its own CBDC for its eight member states. "Central Bank Digital Currencies will revolutionize payments within the Caribbean for all segments of society, and we believe that WiPay plays a critical role by providing Central Banks with a distribution network for the quick adoption of the technology," said Aldwyn Wayne, CEO of WiPay Caribbean. "We have very forward-thinking Central Banks within the region. Both the Central Banks of Jamaica and Barbados have already created regulatory sandboxes for testing these types of solutions. Once we have completed our development with EMTECH we will present the solution for acceptance into the sandbox."
WiPay’s long-term vision to make the Caribbean more financially inclusive across all demographics and sectors, is bolstered by its partnership with EMTECH. According to Statista, the Caribbean B2C e-commerce market is valued at US$5 billion, and is growing at approximately 25 percent annually, which means more and more people are conducting business using digital methods. Central Banks in the Caribbean are becoming more equipped to accept and distribute digitized forms of currency. WiPay’s partnership with EMTECH to develop an integrated solution will give it the ability to become a viable CBDC distributor for the region, piggy-backing on WiPay’s existing network.
"Our partnership with WiPay paves the way to prove a model that not only digitizes central banks with modern regulatory and currency platforms, but also enables the paradigm shift where central bank digital currencies, stablecoins and cryptocurrencies come together to achieve the goals of financial inclusion, integration and ultimately the formation of a regional settlement network," says EMTECH founder and CEO Carmelle Cadet. "This thoughtful approach unites the policymakers, regulators and fintech innovators necessary to create a truly resilient financial infrastructure that enables broad acceptance of digital currencies on a regional cross-border basis. This will also cement the Caribbean FinTech ecosystem as a pioneering model for the world."
When it is complete, the development of "WiCoin" will provide a working prototype of a secure digital platform for the movement of funds across the region, while anchored with CBDCs for every member of society. WiPay is already integrated into tens of thousands of businesses within the Caribbean, giving any new CBDC real-world benefits immediately upon launch. WiPay in October 2020 announced a regional partnership with MasterCard, which recently stated its intentions to enable digital currency distribution through its network.
This announcement brings a partnership for the Caribbean, by the Caribbean and from the Caribbean, with both founders and CEOs being from Trinidad & Tobago and Haiti.
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