The Bahamas Central Bank Wants to Make Digital “Sand Dollar” Interoperable with Global Currencies

The Central Bank of Bahamas (CBOB) has big plans for the ‘Sand Dollar.’

Plans to Make Sand Dollar Interoperable

As the CBOB prepares to launch the nation’s first central bank digital currency (CBDC) next week, the central bank has hinted that it is already looking forward to the next step of making the Sand Dollar – The Bahamas’ digital currency – interoperable with other global currencies.

According to a report by local news agency the Nassau Guardian, Bobby Chen, the CBOB’s assistant manager of electronic solutions noted that the central bank aspires to make the Sand Dollar interoperable at an international level.

Chen said:

“At the moment, it is currently only used in a domestic setting, but eventually we are working on a solution that will make it interoperable with other global currencies.”

Notably, Chen made the remark during a Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation virtual presentation for businesses ahead of the Sand Dollar rollout. At the presentation, six authorized financial institutions were also unveiled that have been granted the ability to provide Sand Dollar to the Bahamian public.

These six financial institutions are – Omni Financial Group, Cash and Go, Mobile Assist, Kanoo, Money Maxx, and Sun Cash.

Per Cleopatra Davis, Head of Banking, CBOB, a major component of the Sand Dollar’s national rollout is the API card-less onboarding. Davis said:

“Some of the central strategies around Sand Dollar is the API card-less onboarding. This became extremely important during the time of COVID-19 because we realized it’s not business as we know it prior to COVID-19. So, mobility and face-to-face may not be as easily accessible.”

Adding:

“So, through the API card-less onboarding you’re going to be able to have access to Sand Dollar without physically entering a business place to do so.”

Notably, another interesting feature of the Sand Dollar is its offline functionality.

Davis goes on:

“This is critical as we would have seen with Hurricane Dorian. How do we continue to transact if we don’t have electricity, if we don’t have a cell phone network? This is a key component, a key strategy that was built into the Sand Dollar platform.”

A Long Time Coming

While the global race for CBDCs continues to get congested with an increasing number of countries joining in, it’s worthy of note that The Bahamas Central Bank had expressed its desire to launch a CBDC way back in 2018.

In May 2019, the apex bank inked a business partnership with transaction provider NZIA.io in its mission to launch a CBDC by 2020.

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