Central Bank of Bahamas Launches Landmark 'Sand Dollar' Digital Currency
The Bahamas has officially launched the world's first national digital currency, the sand dollar.
The Central Bank of the Bahamas has officially launched its national digital currency.
The first of its kind in the world to have been fully deployed, the sand dollar is a digital version of the Bahamian dollar.
Issued by the country's monetary authority as a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the announcement of the launch came via a tweet on Wednesday.
The project is designed to bring more "inclusive access to regulated payments and other financial services," per the central bank's FAQ.
CBDCs have been a hot topic this year; China, for instance, appears to be close to launching its digital yuan, which in recent days has seen its biggest public trial. Others, like the U.S., Russia and the European Union are looking into their respective CBDC launches.
As reported by CoinDesk, the first phase of the Bahamas rollout sees private-sector players such as banks and credit unions readying compliance checks for personal and enterprise wallets to support the sand dollar.
The digital wallets will be secured with multi-factor authentication security and will be mobile-based, servicing the 90% of the population with smartphones.
Underserved communities of the Caribbean nation are the primary target of the initiative, which the bank said would reduce financial service delivery costs and boost transactional efficiency. The country is an archipelago with hundreds of islands, placing limits on traditional infrastructure.
The Sand Dollar is backed 1:1 to the Bahamian dollar (BSD), which, in turn, is pegged to the U.S. dollar.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.