Bahamas first to issue CBDC..

I had pointed out how the balance sheet of Central Bank of Bahamas already includes digital currency as a liability. It is the first central bank.

Taking further steps, the central bank has announced that CBDC will be available via its banking system from 20th October:

The Central Bank of The Bahamas will gradually release a digital version of the Bahamian dollar nationally, outside of the pilot regions of Exuma and Abaco, through authorised financial institutions (AFIs), beginning on 20th October, 2020. This initiative has acquired the name Project Sand Dollar, with the sand dollar also being the name assigned to the central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Project Sand Dollar is a continuation of The Bahamas’ Payments Systems Modernization Initiative (PSMI), which began in the early 2000s.

The first phase of the national rollout, focused on the immediate readiness within the private sector, will cover all three tiers of authorised accounts. These account tiers are each subject to risk-based customer due diligence or “KYC” requirements. These are low-value personal wallets with the least demanding account opening requirements but with more restricted transaction limits; regular personal accounts in line with the established, flexible customer due diligence for existing banking and financial services; and business or enterprise accounts, subject to further KYC rigour and with higher limits for transactions and holdings of the digital currency.

Engagement and outreach with key private stakeholders will intensify in the months ahead, extending into the first quarter of 2021.

The second phase of national engagement will target Government services and public utilities, becoming more intensive over the course of the first and second quarters of 2021.

Will be interesting to see the rollout…

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