Categories: technology, social, economy
What? In June 2016, Caricoin Ltd. launched the first bitcoin-based social mobile money platform in the Caribbean. Caricoin, a free app linked to the account holder's mobile phone number, enables the user to send and receive bitcoin and use it to pay for goods and services. The service does not charge fees or require preconditions to qualify.
So what? Caricoin has the potential to transform the region's economy by facilitating greater financial inclusion for the 50- percent of Caribbeans without a bank account. It may also significantly reduce the banking fees related to remittances from overseas. Remittance transfers are a major source of income which cost Caribbeans an estimated $800 million U.S. annually in bank costs, but which are free with Caricoin. The bitcoin currency could also help unify the region by enabling users to make financial transactions across the Caribbean in one currency. Similar to other mobile digital currency apps in the developing world (like M-Pesa in a number of African countries, as well as Albania), Caricoin reinforces the perspective that digital currencies will have the greatest impact in areas where payment networks do not exist, or are very poor. Caricoin may also impact national monetary policy in the region. For example, by providing an alternative to domestic currencies, Caricoin may limit the capacity of Caribbean states to use exchange rates as an economic lever.
Source: Coindesk - "Caricoin Ltd Launches Mobile Bitcoin Wallet for the Caribbean"