Bahamas Central Bank Launching Project Sand Dollar in Abaco

Michael LaVere
  • The Central Bank of the Bahamas is planning to launch its digital currency pilot program Project Sand Dollar in Abaco before the end of the year.

The Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBOB) has plans to issue a digital currency starting with the island of Abaco. 

According to a report by the Nassau Guardian on Oct. 25, the CBOB is considering a fully digital currency to replace cash as apart of their Project Sand Dollar initiative, with Abaco being the first location for experimentation. 

The central bank is planning to issue a debit card for using the digital currency, in addition to creating a mobile-friendly e-wallet for smartphone users.  While the bank has already announced the launch of a pilot program in Exuma before the end of the year, Abaco is expected to be the first location to test the coin. 

Central Bank Governor John Rolle told the Nassau Guardian the initiative is aimed at improving the island’s economy. 

He said, 

It will allow the [Central] Bank to test aspects of the emergency wireless communications features that would enable rapid financial services recovery and to connect with many retail businesses early in their recovery process.

He continued, adding that "fully accessible and enabled digital mobile payments would resolve many logistical challenges at once.”

While U.S. lawmakers focus their attention on preventing the launch of Facebook’s digital currency libra, others warn of the danger in falling behind in financial innovation. Project Sand Dollar has the potential to be the first central bank-issued digital currency, with China also reportedly planning to launch a coin before the end of the year. 

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