The newest nation to launch a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), The Bahamas, might be the world’s first country to actually make it officially available to its citizens. As of now, all 393 000 Bahamian locals have direct access to the Sand Dollard, the name given to the new CBDC.
The launch was facilitated with the help of NZIA, a decentralized wireless payment system. NZIA played the role of technology solutions provider for the integration of the Sand Dollar. Reports claim that the Bahamas have been planning to launch a CBDC in years. A 2019 pilot campaign issued 48 000 Sand Dollars on the Exuma and Abaco islands.
The digital fiat can be used at any merchant store, and can be received and sent by means of a mobile app. The phone application is connected with an e-Wallet approved by the Central Bank. The website claims that fees concerned with Sand Dollar transactions are, as of now, “negligible”. We will see what the future holds.
The Sand Dollard is mainly developed to promote the financial inclusion of the 30 inhabited islands in the Caribbean archipelago region, which compromises of around 700 islands, most of which uninhabited.
Many countries around the world are racing towards introducing a central bank digital currencies within their population, with the most promising of them all being China. Yet, it seem that the Bahamas has beaten all of them to the punch.