The Bahamas’ ‘Sand Dollar’ Needs Improved Cybersecurity, IMF Says

The CBDC represents just a tiny fraction of the available currency in the Caribbean nation, the international organization noted.

May 9, 2022 at 4:36 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2022 at 7:16 p.m. UTC

Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

The Bahamas’ central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as the sand dollar, needs better reach and more security to achieve its aims, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a review published Monday.

In a survey of the Caribbean nation's economic and financial policy, the IMF noted the sand dollar represents only 0.1% of currency in circulation.

The country’s central bank “should continue strengthening internal capacity – including on cybersecurity and the resilience of systems associated with the sand dollar,” said the IMF, adding that there are currently “limited avenues to use the sand dollar.”

Bahamas authorities plan to expand public information campaigns about the CBDC in response to the report, said Philip Jennings, the IMF executive director responsible for that country.

Alongside Nigeria and China, the Bahamas has been a pioneer in pushing forward a CBDC, seeing it as a good way of reaching people in the hundreds of far-flung islands that make up the archipelago. The country recently confirmed citizens could use it to pay their taxes.

Perhaps feeling its own power threatened by the likes of bitcoin (BTC), the IMF has been largely skeptical about he use of private crypto in countries such as El Salvador and Argentina. It's taking a warmer view of government-controlled crypto such as CBDCs. A recent survey by the Bank for International Settlements said that nine out of 10 central banks are considering their own CBDCs.

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Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

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Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

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