While the “big” states claim that central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are needed, but will appear on the markets in a few or so years
The Bahamas and the CBDC
John Rolle, Governor of the Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBOB), reportedly confirmed that it will be possible to pay in digital currency on all the islands by the second half of this year.
The Tribune claims that Rolle has already presented his CBDC plan to the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and the Bahamian Confederation of Employers. The program was called “Project Sand Dollar”.
The Bahamas has also already implemented a pilot project on the island of Exuma in December 2019. In this regard, the CBOB Governor announced that the programme will be extended to the Abaco region. Rolle also reveals the background to the implementation of the idea:
“Abaco was indeed the first choice for a digital currency pilot. […] We felt, however, that [something] was missing in Abaco – financial inclusion or the issue of financial access were not so strict there (…)”.
According to the media, the central bank of the Bahamas is in the process of recruiting 1200 people who have signed up for the pilot program for Exuma. Overall, some 2,000 people are reported to have expressed interest in participating in the initiative in the region.
Sand Dollar is just a digital representation of the fiat currency.
The governor also stressed that the digital Bahamian dollar will only be a digitised representation of the national fiat currency, the Bahamian dollar (BSD). Rolle added:
“We’re looking at [it’s] a digital representation of our currency. It is not a different currency; it is the same currency. Legally, it will never be different. It can’t be different in any way, so you can never use [digital] dollars other than Bahamian dollars.”
The governor noted that Sand Dollar was originally intended for internal use only. However, it turns out that it is also possible to link him to foreign currency.
He also boasted that the Bahamas “may be a little ahead of some countries” in terms of digital currency issuance. He is right. This year we may also see the release of the digital yuan. However, we cannot count on the digitised euro or the US dollar.