Business 15 August 2018

Gerald Fenech

Netherlands Antilles exploring digital currency option

It looks like small island states are all the rage for new payment options such as cryptocurrencies, with the latest island nation looking into this option being the Netherlands Antilles.

The Centrale Bank van Cuaracao en Sint Maarten (CBCS), the central bank for the Netherlands Antillean guilder, is looking at the possibility of creating a digital version of the guilder to facilitate digital payments. In early August, the bank signed a memorandum of understanding with Barbados-based Bitt Inc., a crypto company that is part of Overstock.com’s Medici Ventures.

In a statement, Bitt CEO Rawdon Adams said, “The MOU clears the way for collaboration and information sharing regarding a feasibility study, designed to determine the viability and functionality of using a central bank-issued digital guilder within the financial ecosystems of each member, and across both members of the monetary union.”

Although the creation of a digital currency is a good thing, it would perhaps make more sense for such countries to consider using the more mainstream digital currencies and make it their legal tender. Bitcoin Cash, which is designed for commerce and is already on track to become the world’s most accept retail digital currency, seems to be ideal in this respect since it is already being widely used as a payment option in countries like Cyprus.

Netherlands Antilles isn’t the first to explore a crypto option for legal tender; other governments and central banks around the world have also considered creating an altcoin of their own—some like Venezuela, Iran and Russia see cryptocurrencies as a way to evade economic sanctions, while others determine that crypto coins pave the way to increased supervision on transactions.

CBCS Acting President Leila Matroos-Lasten said the central bank is aware of “the transformative potential of innovation and technology” like blockchain.

“The central bank is determined to address its challenges proactively by exploring the latest technology available, for example, to reduce the level of cash usage within the monetary union, and to facilitate more secure, more AML and KYC compliant, and more efficient financial transactions within and between Curaçao and Sint Maarten,” Matroos-Lasten said in a statement.

However, this process will undoubtedly take quite some time to achieve so again it would perhaps be wiser for countries who are observing developments in this space to explore the option of a stable and established digital currency as their crypto alternative.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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