The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has officially launched its digital currency, also known as DCash, this week. The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis is one of the first Eastern Caribbean nations to embed the pilot currency, a sentiment in line with its digital transformation promised in 2020. DCash, considered legal tender, is a real-time payment option available within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and offers a safer, faster, and cheaper method for making payments.
According to the Governor of the ECCB, Timothy Antoine, the initiative's goal is to increase opportunities for inclusion and create financial growth and business opportunities for the citizens of the region. Currently, the Eastern Caribbean dollar is the currency of all seven full members and one associate member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). It has been pegged to the United States dollar since 1976.
The ECCB partnered with Bitt Inc to develop the securely minted digital version of the EC dollar. "Bitt is very proud to provide the ECCB with our full stack of digital currency management systems to enhance the financial services within their member countries," said CEO of Bitt, Brian Popelka.
Akilah Byron-Nisbett, the Minister of St Kitts and Nevis' Information and Communication Technology, shared that the digital transformation would boost the economy and make the country a world leader in digital delivery for its citizens, residents, and investors in an Economic Forum last year. To reflect the commitment, the government projected the mission into one of its main revenue generators – the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme – when Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris announced the implementation of an online process to submit applications to its Citizenship by Investment Unit
Established in 1984, St Kitts and Nevis CBI Programme have undergone significant transformations in recent years, which earned it the 'Platinum Standard' status. This included an overhaul of its due diligence checks, prioritizing external partnerships, and creating the Sustainable Growth Fund
. The latter was introduced in 2018 as the fastest route to a second citizenship.
Furthermore, the government also adjusted some application requirements to attract more families. Foreign Minister Mark Brantley actively seeks to establish more visa waiver agreements, establishing St Kitts and Nevis as having the 25th strongest passport in the world. Importantly, applicants earn the right to live, work and study in a young modern democracy with a promising future.
Source: CS Global Partners