Around the New Year, we posted about the pilot program launched in the Bahamas for its central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as the Sand Dollar. It has apparently been successful because Bloomberg is reporting that the country will roll out the e-currency nationwide in October.
Sand Dollar transfers are made by mobile phone. Each Sand Dollar is pegged to the Bahamian dollar, which is, in turn, pegged to the U.S. dollar. There are, currently only 48,000 Sand Dollars in circulation. As Bloomberg reported, new Sand Dollars will be “minted” as demand grows and will only be issued when physical Bahamian dollars are retired to keep from skewing monetary policy. Also, Sand Dollar accounts are subject to the same rules as traditional bank accounts, with anti-money-laundering and know-your-client safeguards in place.
Bahamas thus hopes to be the first to launch a successful CBDC. Venezuela has not found success with its national cryptocurrency, the Petro. China announced in late 2019 its plans concerning a CBDC but the expectations are that its launch is not imminent.