On the 20th of October 2020, the Central Bank of Bahamas took to its Twitter account to announce the launch of the Bahamian CBDC, the Sand Dollar. The Bahamas is the first country to release a central bank digital currency beyond a pilot program.
The Central Bank of the Bahamas first announced the Bahamas CBDC in June 2018. This project developed because many of Bahama’s smaller and remote islands do not have banking services.
The central bank of the Bahamas started its pilot program in 2019. About 48 000 digital Sand Dollars got issued on Exuma and Abaco; the two islands have fewer than 25 000 residents.
Sand Dollar Now Available to Bahamian Residents
As per a Facebook post by the Project Dollar on the 20th of October 2020, the Bahamian central bank digital currency became available to all the Bahamian residents. Sand Dollar transfers are through mobile phones, and each dollar pegged to the Bahamian dollar, linked to the US dollar.
The Sand Dollar website noted that the Bahamas residents could utilize the CBDC at any merchant, with a Central Bank approved e-wallet on their phones; the transactions fees are negligible. The Central Bank chose Nzia as its technology solutions provider for the provision of the Sand Dollar digital currency.
Nzia builds decentralized wireless payment systems. They provide Central Banks with CBDC solutions with more excellent maneuverability and flexibility to navigate the digital economy. Furthermore, they ensure the process is in a frictionless manner to work within the available financial frameworks.
Nzia launched in 2019, and its co-founders are Jay Joe and U-Zyn Chua. It has offices in Canada, the Bahamas, South Africa, Singapore, and South Korea. Its unique advanced technology is the use of blockchain, wireless communication systems, and edge computing hardware.
China Testing a Pilot Program for its Digital Yuan
On the 9th of October 2020, China’s Central Bank Digital Currency’s local news reported that Shenzen is launching a pilot program to promote its digital Yuan with a public giveaway.
Shenzhen is a major Chinese city and is collaborating with the Chinese Central Bank to distribute 10 million yuan, equivalent to $ 1.5 million. The giveaway pilot is part of the Chinese government’s plans to market its digital Yuan to the public. The digital Yuan project will first get tested in nine Chinese cities.