Bahamas to Roll Out 'Sand Dollar' Digital Currency Next Month

The Bahamas' "Sand Dollar" will likely be the world's first live central bank digital currency when it launches in October.

Sep 16, 2020 at 10:32 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:56 a.m. UTC

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.


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