Last month, SiliconCaribe, the leading producer of Caribbean Tech Events, hosted its first annual conference dubbed the Future of Caribbean Money (FOCMNY). This was a two-day hybrid (virtual and in-person) event for sharing stories and advice about how Caribbean entrepreneurs and individuals can leverage digital currencies, blockchain, and NFTs to make, manage and invest their own money. Speakers at the event were based in the English, Spanish and French-speaking Caribbean, as well as the US and the UK. They shared relevant insights and hosted masterclasses to educate participants on the emerging trends in cryptocurrency and its contribution to wealth creation in the Caribbean. The Hon. Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas and a supporter of the crypto revolution, was one of the speakers at the event, where he applauded the organisers and expressed his hope to see more Caribbean entrepreneurs thriving in the fintech industry.
The founder of SiliconCaribe, Ingrid Riley, also happens to be part of the Women in Tech Caribbean Community and shared some insights into why she and her team from SiliconCaribe decided to co-ordinate this event. In her own words, she said, “I’m always tracking trends and the people driving them, and we tend to look on the fringes of what is emerging and find the best people to communicate what this means for Caribbean people and businesses.
Crypto has been floating around in the Caribbean Tech Ecosystem [since] a Bitcoin was just USD $25 and USD $100. The developers were being paid in Bitcoin by their international clients and others were investing from very early. The pandemic accelerated everything Digital and Bitcoin, and Cryptocurrencies started to make more noise in certain places, so I wanted to create an event series around it. So FOCMNY is not our first. We, at SiliconCaribe, produced Jamaica’s first crypto and blockchain event on Jan 31st, 2018. It was sold out. Future of Caribbean Money Conference is picking up from where that left off.
That said, us producing the Future of Caribbean Money Conference was about how we get the best people in the Caribbean and Diaspora plus the International experts in our network to share what they know and see in Fintech, E-commerce and Cryptocurrencies. There is a fundamental shift of our financial system happening globally. There is a global abundance of business and career opportunities at our finger tips if Caribbean people and businesses take the time to learn, connect and act.
Further, FOMCNY is on mission and on brand. You see, SiliconCaribe is an independent media and events business. It’s about amplifying the people, ideas and businesses driving the rise of the Caribbean Digital Economy and to educate and inspire the next generation of Caribbean entrepreneurs and innovators. We do that by providing Business & Tech News & Insights about and for Caribbean Entrepreneurs building brands and businesses in the Digital Economy.”
We also asked Ingrid how quickly she thought Caribbean leaders and entrepreneurs would embrace cryptocurrencies as legal tender. She responded, “Legal tender? I don’t know if that will ever happen to be honest, but who knows? What I think will happen sooner is that the fast-growing Caribbean people using crypto to invest, raise money, send remittances, etc. will move Caribbean governments to integrate it into our current and changing financial system and build a regulatory framework that enables people and businesses to continue to invest in it, trade it, and build businesses around it. Cryptocurrencies are going nowhere; it’s a USD $3 Trillion dollar industry with over 300 million people globally using various aspects of it. In fact, check out a blog post that I just wrote :Top 8 Caribbean Crypto Countries and the #1 industry that’s being disrupted.”
As they celebrate 15 years of excellence this February, Ingrid mentioned that SiliconCaribe will be adding more content around Caribbean Crypto News and Insights on their blog, in their newsletter and on their podcast. There will also be a second staging of the Future of Caribbean Money Conference in November as well as other exciting projects in the crypto space. To learn more about last month’s FOCMNY event, and to keep abreast with future editions, visit www.futureofcaribbeanmoney.com.