When people or the news talks about developing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), the main international focus has always been on China, Korea, Europe, and North America – but it seems to prove that one small prominent Caribbean nation has stolen the limelight on both Asia and the West, with a digital currency to be issued next week already being lined up for use in international transactions.
As announced by the Nassau Guardian, the Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) has declared it aims to make the new CBDC, the Sand Dollar, “interoperable” with global fiats.
The media outlet cited CBOB’s assistant manager of electronic solutions, Bobby Chen, as stating,
“At the moment, [the Sand Dollar] is only used in a domestic setting, but eventually we are working on a solution that will make it interoperable with other global currencies.”
The digital currency rolls out across the Bahamas tomorrow (October 20) following a successful pilot project on the Exuma archipelago last year – and a partial rollout involving the Abaco Islands earlier this year.
Eyewitness News announced last Thursday that a Bahamian e-pay provider with over 12,000 active users named Kanoo promised “seamless” integration of the Sand Dollar onto its payment platform, stating that it had obtained a “green light” from the CBOB.
Rival e-pay platforms Omni Financial Group, Cash and Go, Mobile Assist, Money Maxx, and Sun Cash have also received approval to distribute the Sand Dollar.
The CBOB stated that it is giving the utmost importance to the application programming interfaces for card-free onboarding, which it said will allow the public “access to Sand Dollar without physically entering a business place to do so.”
The bank declared a strong need to ensure the CBDC was “interoperable with other wallets,” including conventional fiat bank accounts.
The Nassau Guardian quoted the CBOB’s Head of Banking Cleopatra Davis as stating,
“That’s a key strategy that we’re working on […] It would allow the movement of Sand Dollar to and from your bank account, which would then convert to fiat as it hits your bank account.”