The Bahamian government has officially launched their central bank digital currency (CBDC), and has named it the Sand Dollar. It is a blockchain-based stablecoin that is pegged to the Bahamian Dollar (BSD). Since the BSD is pegged to the USD, the Sand Dollar is interchangeable with both the BSD and the USD.

The Sand Dollar is beginning with a pilot phase in Exuma, and will be extended to Abaco in the first half of 2020. The reason that the Sand Dollar will arrive in Abaco before other regions is that Abaco has been devastated by Category 5 Hurricane Dorian, and is in desperate need of financial infrastructure.

The point of the Sand Dollar is to make access to the financial system more inclusive and non-discriminatory, as well as to make domestic payments more efficient.

A digital currency like the Sand Dollar makes a lot of sense in the Bahamas, since the Bahamas archipelago consists of around 3,100 islands, and people living on far flung islands have no access to the physical banking system. A blockchain-based digital currency will provide secure financial access for all.

The Bahamian government will develop a regulatory framework for digital currency as the pilot phase progresses, and will strengthen consumer protection for digital currency users. Also, infrastructure will be developed so that everyone, not just banks, can use the Sand Dollar.

Ultimately, the Bahamian government will gauge the costs and benefits of the Sand Dollar by the end of the pilot phase, and if it is deemed to be successful then the Sand Dollar would become available across all of the Bahamas and perhaps internationally as well.