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Bahamas blockchain firm eyes Africa

Co-founder and CEO of Bahamian blockchain firm PO8 Matthew Arnett represented The Bahamas at an innovative technology conference in Africa recently, as the tech start-up looks to enter the African market. (Stock photo)

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Co-founder and CEO of Bahamian blockchain firm PO8 Matthew Arnett represented The Bahamas at an innovative technology conference in Africa recently, as the tech start-up looks to enter the African market.

Speaking on the topic of blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and their social and economic impact at the Blockchain Africa 2019 conference, Arnett spoke of the importance of public and private sector involvement in regards to launching cryptocurrencies and online payments.


“What we have to look at as an industry is unity,” he said. “There has to be unity across the board, but it has to be driven by public private partnership. If the key entities that have to support it don’t recognise it then it’s not going to get anywhere. You have to have the public and private buy in.”

P08 uses blockchain to revolutionise marine archaeology, offering Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) to represent digital ownership of recovered artifacts which can then be auctioned, sold, used for educational programs or loaned to museums. The company won the Creative Business Cup Award last year at Demand Solutions in Chile and is keen to take its blockchain concept to international markets.

There needs to be more awareness of the technology and its uses however, according to Arnett who said: “There is so much potential but if we don’t educate people they are still not going to be able to grab this opportunity. They will not be able to see it or actualise it and it will pass them. We have to go out and educate a lot of other people and then perhaps we will see a real environment.”

PO8 is headquartered in Grand Bahama and kickstarted the drive to transform that island into a technology hub. The company is looking to invest further in Freeport with the creation of the first Bahamas Archaeological Treasure and Maritime Museum and Interactive Marine Park. The $10 million project will be a private public partnership that hopes to significantly contribute to both the tech and the tourism sectors. The PO8 Museum Foundation aims to start collecting construction bids this year.

Executives of the Bahamas Development Bank have met with the country’s representative of the Organization of American States to explore opportunities and avenues to strengthen efforts to better assist small businesses.

Fostering more trade and greater investment flows between the Caribbean and the Gulf states could boost the Caribbean economy by billions per year, according to a new report from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

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