The Bahamas has officially unveiled its central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Sand Dollar. And although there is some confusion as to whether it is indeed the world’s very first CBDC or not, the Caribbean nation can certainly claim to have beaten scores of major world economies to the punch – releasing a central bank token months if not years ahead of others who are still humming and hawing over whether they will even consider issuing a CBDC.
The rollout was announced on the Sand Dollar’s official Facebook page, operated by the Central Bank of the Bahamas.
The bank wrote,
“[The] Central Bank of The Bahamas' digital dollar is available nationwide.”
It also provided telephone numbers and social media links, encouraging citizens and businesses to get in touch with any questions they have about the new token.
On Twitter, the central bank used the hashtag “#SandDollarOnTheMove.”
@sanddollar_BS is available nationwide. Contact us at 302-9880 or 357-4881 for more detailed information.… https://t.co/7ZpwFH96Pr— Central Bank Bahamas (@CentralbankBS1)
Although bank-issued digital currencies are already in existence in some nations, the Sand Dollar appears to be the world’s first to roll out nationwide – although other states may dispute this claim.
CBDC projects are already in advanced pilot or limited rollout stages in China and Thailand, with the latter’s central bank claiming that business transactions are already being conducted in its token.
A “quasi” CBDC is also in operation in Cambodia, whose central bank was slated to launch a token in conjunction with a Japanese blockchain firm sometime this year.
Some African nations also claim to be at various stages of CBDC rollout.
But whether the Bahamas’ Sand Dollar is the first CBDC or not may ultimately be immaterial. The central bank may already have its sights set on more lucrative prizes than a non-existent first-place trophy – with bank officials last week claiming they were in talks with international parties over the use of the Sand Dollar on the international stage.
Learn more: While China Is Already Testing CBDC, US's Goal Is 'To Get It Right' ECB Sends Another Confirmation of A ‘Global Currency War’ A Reality Check is Needed at This Stage of CBDC Development - Deutsche Bank How CBDCs Might Change Our Daily Payments