The Central Bank of the Bahamas has confirmed it is moving ahead with the nationwide launch of its digital currency sometime in October.
- The Caribbean nation of just under 400,000 people will roll-out its central bank digital currency (CBDC), dubbed the "Sand Dollar," next month, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
- That will make it probably the first CBDC to launch anywhere in the world – it's been suggested China won't launch its own digital yuan initiative until the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.
- Approximately $48,000 worth of the new CBDC will enter circulation initially and will be available via a mobile-based wallet app.
- The Sand Dollar is backed 1:1 to the Bahamian dollar (BSD) which, in turn, is pegged to the U.S. dollar.
- The central bank will mint more Sand Dollars as demanded, at the same time removing physical BSD out of circulation to prevent inflating the monetary supply.
- Speaking to Bloomberg, Chaozhen Chen, the central bank's assistant manager of eSolutions, said the CBDC had been designed to provide people and businesses in some of the archipelago's far-flung islands with better access to financial services.
- Today's news comes more than a year after the central bank first engaged local tech provider NZIA to design and implement the CBDC.
- It has already been tested on the remote islands of Exuma and Abaco.