Bahamas to Mandate Commercial Bank Support for Sand Dollar CBDC

The Bahamas is developing regulations to require commercial banks to offer its Sand Dollar CBDC, aiming to boost adoption.

Key Insights

  • The Bahamas is developing regulations to require commercial banks to offer access to its CBDC, the Sand Dollar.
  • The move aims to boost adoption of the Sand Dollar, which has seen limited uptake since its 2020 launch.
  • As of December 2023, Sand Dollar circulation increased by 60.8% to $1.7 million, with personal wallets growing by 20% to 118,955.

NASSAU (MarketsXplora) – The Bahamas, which made history as the first country to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC), is now developing regulations to compel commercial banks to offer access to its Sand Dollar, in an effort to increase adoption, the central bank governor said on Monday.

John Rolle, Governor of the Central Bank of the Bahamas, told Reuters that despite being a pioneer in the CBDC space, the adoption of the Sand Dollar, launched in 2020, remains limited. To address this, the government is preparing new regulations that would require commercial banks to distribute the digital currency.

“We foresee a process where all of the commercial banks will eventually be in that space,” Rolle stated, adding that the central bank has begun to signal this new regulatory direction to local financial institutions.

The Sand Dollar, officially launched in October 2020, has seen some growth in circulation. Central bank data revealed that by the end of December 2023, the volume of Sand Dollars in circulation had increased by 60.8% to $1.7 million from the beginning of the year.

Additionally, the number of personal wallets for the Sand Dollar grew by 20% throughout 2023, reaching 118,955 by year-end, according to the central bank’s figures.

These new regulations represent a significant step in the Bahamas’ ongoing efforts to promote its CBDC and maintain its position as a leader in digital currency innovation among central banks globally.

Read also! IMF Chief Sees CBDC Replacing Cash But Adoption Will Take Time

The central bank did not provide immediate additional comments when contacted by MarketsXplora  for further details on the upcoming regulations.

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