Barbados can get through its foreign reserve slump with the use of blockchain technology, an industry expert suggests.
Roland Haggins is the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Director for Nuco Global Inc, a digital infrastructure development company. Haggins believes that since the FinTech industry is expanding worldwide, it would beneficial for Barbados to cash in on the industry and include it as “an additional sector” to the country’s economy.
Haggins described blockchain as “a secure version of the Internet in which value can be communicated”. Blockchain tech could be applied to different sectors and industries like healthcare, agriculture and manufacturing. With blockchain technology, Barbados could see an increase in its economic activity.
To supplement his argument, Haggins cited the millions of dollars in investments in some blockchain firms in the country. One of which is Bitt, a FinTech company in the Caribbean. Haggins mentioned his own company, Nuco Global Inc., as it built the country’s first blockchain protocol and raised $28 million just last year.
“So all in all, the blockchain companies in Barbados have raised well over $100 million over the past year or so, and these businesses are worth hundreds of millions and will be employing hundreds of people by year end.”
Blockchain to Solve Economic Woes
Barbados’ foreign exchange reserves have dropped to just $410 million as 2017 closed with predictions of it falling even lower by mid 2018.
Haggins believes that focusing on the development of the country’s FinTech industry, particularly on blockchain tech, would help alleviate their economic woes.
“We would like to see all the major global tech companies have offices in Barbados employing Barbadians. We would like to see Barbadians with access to the latest technology advances that can improve our well-being, improve the ease of doing business and improve our Government systems,” said Haggins.
“We have the potential to strengthen foreign reserves by attracting foreign investment as a stimulus.”
Haggins also noted that the country now faces the challenge of developing regulations that would not “stifle innovation” and instead allow it to “flourish”.