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Bitcoin startup Caricoin has announced the launch of a bitcoin wallet application that it deems as the first “social mobile money platform” in the Caribbean.
UK-based Caricoin Ltd has released a bitcoin wallet as a mobile money solution for Caribbean users. The application and technology has been developed following a partnership with Californian Bitcoin security firm BitGo, an early developer of the multi-signature bitcoin wallet.
The app brings together elements of a social messaging platform infused with remittance via bitcoin. The app enables users to gain a bitcoin wallet immediately after downloading the application. A user will simply need to link his or her mobile number to the application without any KYC (know-your-customer) guidelines, thus enabling users to send or receive bitcoin in seconds.
The Global Findex, compiled by the World Bank totals nearly 50% of the Caribbean population as unbanked. Although that number is declining each year, the bitcoin wallet app would bring welcome respite.
The long-term goal, as Caricoin sees it, is to help enable financial inclusion for the unbanked and anyone across the Caribbean with a singular currency, with bitcoin being the obvious choice.
In a statement via a press release, Caricoin CEO Karsten Becker stated:
Much in the way email changed the world by making communication fast and cheap, bitcoin is changing the world of digital finance and reshaping how we perceive, manage and store our money.
Furthermore, the Caricoin wallet will also provide users the added benefit of topping-up their mobile phones with minutes, a feature certain to be popular in the developing region where prepaid mobile connectivity is favored.
Zero-Cost Remittance, via Bitcoin
Notably, Caricoin is also working toward the development of a zero-cost remittance solution that would be included within the application. When activated, members of the Caribbean community working elsewhere can send money back home without having to incur a fee. Currently, it is estimated that remittance fees alone in the Caribbean region amount to over $800 million dollars, as revealed by a World Bank report [PDF].
The feature will see users buying bitcoin from the Caricoin wallet before sending the cryptocurrency to the recipient. Caricoin wallet users will also be able to pay bills with the transferred funds or cash them out locally in the Caribbean.
Images from Shutterstock and Caricoin.