Bahamas to roll out central bank digital currency nationwide

Central Bank of The Bahamas
DIGITAL CURRENCY: The Central Bank of The Bahamas plans a full rollout of the Sand Dollar in October

The Central Bank of The Bahamas is to launch its Sand Dollar central bank digital currency (CBDC) across the entire archipelago in October, after piloting the new e-currency on the islands of Exuma and Abaco.

The central bank began testing the Sand Dollar in January 2020 and extended the pilot to the island of Abaco in March.

“Once the system is up and running, holders will be able to use their mobile phones to make person-to-person or business transactions — even when they’re offline,” Bloomberg reports.

“For consumers already using mobile payment systems, the experience might not be much different.”

“The monetary authority has just $48,000 worth of Sand Dollars on its balance sheet, valued at one-to-one with the regular Bahamian dollar, which is pegged to the greenback,” the publication says.

“But even at that diminutive scale, the project puts the country at the forefront of a global race to create state-backed digital currencies.”

“A lot of residents in… more remote islands don’t have access to digital payment infrastructure or banking infrastructure,” the central bank’s Chaozhen Chen told Bloomberg.

“We really had to customise the effort and the solution to what we need as a sovereign nation.”

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