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Stacked cryptocurrency coins Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoins (Photo: Antigua Observer)

Caribbean Blockchain Alliance counters claims from eCurrency CEO

Stacked cryptocurrency coins Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoins (Photo: Antigua Observer)

Caribbean Blockchain Alliance has come out swinging against a claim from eCurrency CEO Jonathan Dharmapalan, in the Jamaica Observer article Jamaica’s digital currency ‘more secure than Bitcoin’, that blockchain technology is a “vulnerable security mechanism”.

Jamaica's digital currency 'more secure than Bitcoin'
CEO of eCurrency Jonathan Dharmapalan
(Photo: Jamaica Observer)

In the article, which was an exclusive interview with Kalilah Reynolds Taking Stock, Dharmapalan shared that Jamaica’s central bank digital currency will be superior in security to Bitcoin because it does not use blockchain technology.

However, in a blog post on LinkedIn, the organisation wrote: “We wish to contest some of the claims made by the company quoted in this article, in relation to the pros and cons of blockchain technology. This is mainly, but not limited to, the assertion that blockchain uses a ‘vulnerable security mechanism’. This is objectively false.”

“Blockchain mechanisms have proven to have superior security compared to proprietary, centralised mechanisms,” the post continued.

“Avoiding blockchain for such an important project will open up risk variables and potential attack vectors; this would be devastating to the entire Jamaican monetary base if a serious issue were to arise down the line, especially as cybercrime increases globally”

Referring to the Sand Dollar and DCash central digital currencies, the alliance argued that both the Central Bank of The Bahamas and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank had reasons for using blockchain to issue the respective currencies.

Moreover, the alliance noted that payment solutions company Visa has used blockchain as part of its ecosystem to support the settlement of transactions.

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s digital currency, DCash, uses blockchain technology for securitisation. (Photo: ECCB)

“Blockchain is unmatched in its security, auditability, and tamper-resistant/anti-corruption mechanisms,” Caribbean Blockchain Alliance stated, further cementing its counterclaim.

“Avoiding blockchain for such an important project will open up risk variables and potential attack vectors; this would be devastating to the entire Jamaican monetary base if a serious issue were to arise down the line, especially as cybercrime increases globally. Avoiding blockchain will also potentially reduce trust by the citizenry, given that many are already beginning to wonder why this less-secure, less-auditable route was chosen.”

In its conclusion, Caribbean Blockchain Alliance appealed to the Jamaican authorities to reconsider its approach to minting the country’s central bank digital currency and consult “experts in the region, rather than outsiders who may not have their best interests in mind”.

On its website, Caribbean Blockchain Alliance says it is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting the adoption of blockchain technology in the region.

Commenting on the post, Gabriel Abed, cofounder of Bitt, addressed Jamaica’s Minister of Finance Dr Nigel Clarke directly, saying he “should be aware of this critical issue and claim by Jonathan Dharmapalan.

From left: Nick DeFreitas, business development (Bitt); Oliver Gale, president and co-founder, Bitt; Oliver Jordan, PwC advisory partner; Simon Chantry, COO, Bitt; Gabriel Abed, CEO and co-founder, Bitt; and Patrick Tannis, banking consultant to Bitt. (Photo: Barbados Reporter)

“I appreciate the Caribbean Blockchain Alliance and E. Stefen Deleveaux bringing this matter to the forefront as it’s absolutely worthy of a deeper discussion with experts from the security field,” Abed, who is Barbados’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, also stated.

Founded in Barbados, Bitt was responsible for developing and launching ECCB’s DCash. The technology company has also been instrumental in developing electronic wallets in the region, including for the National Bank of Belize.