The British Virgin Islands hosted a leading professor from the National University of Singapore earlier this week as part of a fintech immersion conference to highlight the importance of the digital sector for the region.
The two day conference, entitled ‘Think Differently! The Great Digital Disruption and the New Internet Economy’, provided attendees with a better understanding of fintech and the role it will play in improving the BVI economy.
Over the course of the event, Professor Keith Carter covered a range of fintech-related topics, including how to create a cryptocurrency wallet, the use of blockchain in business transactions and the role of cybersecurity. The conference also included an interactive Q&A session testing attendees on what they had learnt via their smartphones.
When asked about his experience in the BVI thus far, Professor Carter stated that he was “inspired” by his interaction with the BVI people and encouraged persons to view FinTech as ‘what can be done versus what can’t’.
Separately, Technical Manager Shawn Conrad and Senior Executive Alana Maria Ali of Crimson Logic, gave a short introduction to the e-litigation portal they are developing in conjunction with the BVI Commercial Court. Crimson Logic works with several other Caribbean nations in the area of fintech with a sound understanding of the needs of the region.
The conference follows the BVI Asia Trade Mission earlier this year during which the Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, attended several meetings with those engaged in the fintech industry.
Commenting, Lorna Smith, OBE, Interim Executive Director at BVI Finance, said: “Fintech is a top priority for the BVI and we are excited to see the changes it will bring across the industry. I especially commend Professor Carter on such a successful event, which was very well-received in the BVI.
Singapore is a country that the BVI should emulate in terms of its advancement in technology, as well as its current innovative fintech ecosystem. Thought-provoking, informative conferences such as this are exactly what the region needs to remain forward looking and advance to the heights that Singapore has. It is our responsibility to continue to develop our understanding of fintech and I hope this is the first of many events of this type.”
The conference was held at the Eileen L. Parson Auditorium at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College on the 23rd and 24th of July. Over 175 attendees were present across the private and public sectors and the wider community. Representatives from various organisations including the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) were also in attendance.
The event was sponsored by the Government of the Virgin Islands, the Financial Services Commission, HLSCC, the Bank of Asia, the BVI Tourist Board and BVI Finance.