Sand Dollar to launch nationwide in October

Sand Dollar to launch nationwide in October
The Central Bank of The Bahamas. (PHOTO: THE CENTRAL BANK)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The digital Bahamian currency Sand Dollar is expected to be available nationwide in October, according to Central Bank Governor John Rolle.

Rolle said there has been significant progress with regards to the Sand Dollar roll-out.

“We are doing the work behind the scenes to complete the integration of the infrastructure with the rest of the banking system, in terms of connectivity with deposit accounts, and there is also focus on addressing the assessment of the security of the infrastructure in terms of the resilience of the infrastructure against cyber attacks and other mishaps,” he said.

“Once that work is concluded we will have most of the assurances we need to make the currency available to the wider public.”

He said: “We are anticipating that access on a national basis could begin during the month for October.

“We could do it today but it is not prudent for us to do it until we have completed the various security assessments and have at least out some markers in terms of what could be the minimum amount of regulatory structure around operations.”

With regards to digital payment providers, Rolle noted that between money transmission businesses and entities licensed under the Payment System Act there are nine entities that can provide digital payment services.

”They are in various stages of engagement with the Central Bank and participating in the digital currency roll-out,” said Rolle.

“We have had less intense but still engagement with the commercial banks around making sure that on a minimal level they will also be tied into the system. We do not anticipate in the early states that the commercial banks will be sponsoring digital wallets. They are automatically able to participate in the infrastructure even if it is only at the wholesale level,” said Rolle.