The Central Bank of the Bahamas will on May 30 sign an agreement with transactions provider, NZIA Limited, to launch the country’s first bank-backed digital currency by next year.
According to the local news agency, Nassau Guardian, the new digital currency planned by the Central Bank of Bahamas will be the product of a new program dubbed “Project Sand Dollar.” The digital currency will facilitate faster settlement of transactions for both individuals and businesses, serving the same purpose as the fiat currency.
The report goes further to identify the need for financial inclusion as one of the reasons why the Bahamas Central Bank decided to embark on the project, which was announced first in March.
Citizens living in the Family Islands area of the Bahamas currently cannot access banking services easily, a need that the Sand Dollar will fill in by providing “residents with equal, expanded access to modernized digital payment capabilities.”
The report suggests that one of the regions in the Bahamas Family Islands will be the location for the pilot program, although Central Bank Governor, John Rolle revealed that the digital payments system would after its pilot reach the whole island.
The Central Bank official defined 2020 as the country’s target for implementing a full digital payments system. For the time being, though, the Bahamas continues to work on integrating blockchain-based systems with the traditional financial services ecosystem.
The latest development regarding the digital currency planned by the Bahamas also coincides with the time when the country is reviewing proposed regulations for the cryptocurrency industry.
Stmarket.co provided an overview of the proposed rules for crypto regulation in the Bahamas expected to go into force later this year, as the country hopes to attract companies in the industry.