The Bahamas Central Bank is seemingly all set for the nationwide launching of its Sand Dollar Project this next month. Once made official, the Bahamas will have the claim as the very first nation to release a central bank digital currency (CBDC), beating out the seeming leader of the race, China, which has its CBDC launch seemingly scheduled in simultaneous to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Chaozhen Chen, Bahamas Central Bank eSolutions’ assistant manager, states that the release of the Bahamian CBDC, which will be called Sand Dollar, is expected to spark a far robust financial inclusion within the archipelago, especially among its very remote islands. He states that many of its residents do not have the means of access for digital payment or banking frameworks, and this development shall be the solution for just that. This is because transfers of Sand Dollar can be easily completed through mobile phones, which 90% of the rough total of 400,000 Bahamians have as per a 2017 study.
Chen clarifies that the Bahamian CBDC will also be subjected to the security protocols already implemented to a slew of cryptocurrencies presently circulating today. Furthermore, he has also noted that around $48,000 worth of Sand Dollar will be released to circulation at launch. It shall have a conversion ratio of 1:1 to the Bahamian Dollar (BSD), which will eventually be pegged to USD.
New Sand Dollars will be minted as its demand grows according to the central bank. Notably, physical BSDs will be gradually taken out of circulation with every made Sand Dollar in order to keep the inflation of monetary supply in equilibrium.
The Bahamas central bank claims that initial tests, wherein it issued over 48,000 Sand Dollars on Abaco and Exuma islands, have already been successful. The central bank then reiterated that everything is set for its nationwide launch this coming October.