The Caribbean island Bahamas has overtaken economic giants to launch the world’s first official central bank digital currency. The Bahamas launched the Sand Dollar officially after over two years of pilot tests. The Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) announced the official launch of the CBDC on social media. The central bank has partnered with several local financial institutions on the rollout, including electronic payment firm Kanoo, mobile money company Cash N Go and e-commerce platform MobileAssist.
@sanddollar_BS is available nationwide. Become #sandDollar enabled today. Contact these Central Bank supervised, authorised financial institutions for details.#sandDollarOnTheMove #sandDollar #digitalBDollar #cbdc pic.twitter.com/nta1ZIjhij
— Central Bank Bahamas (@CentralbankBS1) October 21, 2020
The central bank seeks to advance more inclusive access to regulated payments with its CBDC.
With the Sand Dollar, the CBOB is seeking to “advance more inclusive access to regulated payments and other financial services for under-serviced communities and socio-economic groups as well as to reduce service delivery costs and increase transactional efficiency for financial services across the Bahamas.” The central bank has developed the Sand Dollar to be transferrable via mobile phones, making it easy to use for the residents. The Sand Dollar works offline, further making it a good payment choice for those without an internet connection.
Central banks continue to explore CBDCS.
As reported earlier, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) plan to test a central bank-backed digital currency (CBDC) by the end of this year. Central banks across countries are experimenting with digital currencies. Earlier, the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, suggested the United States was waiting to get the right proposals in place, rather than becoming the first to launch in regard with a CBDC. Several other major central banks, including the Bank of Japan, the Philippines’ central bank, are working on a CBDC.