The Bahamas beats China by launching the world’s first CBDC

The Bahamas beats China by launching the world’s first CBDC
Written by:
Ali Raza
21st October, 09:24
  • The Central Bank of the Bahamas has just released its national cryptocurrency, the Sand Dollar.
  • In doing so, the country became the world's first nation to roll out its own CBDC, beating even China.
  • The coin can be used via mobile, and residents can use it for payments at any merchant with a bank wallet.

China has made central banks around the world start considering, and even exploring and developing CBDCs after it originally revealed digital yuan. However, while China was considered to be in the lead when it comes to the development and testing of its own CBDC, it appears that another project may have surpassed it.

The Bahamas central bank releases the world’s first CBDC

According to a recent announcement by the Project Sand Dollar on Facebook, the country’s national cryptocurrency, the so-called Sand Dollar, was just released for nationwide use.

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The announcement was published on October 20th, revealing that the Sand Dollar became available from around 10:00 PM UTC. All 393,000 residents of the Bahamas can now use it, which makes this country the first in the world to release a CBDC to the entire nation.

As some may know, China has supposedly finished the development of its own coin, and it has been testing it in multiple regions for quite a while now. However, not even China has released its coin to the entirety of its nation.

Another project that is reportedly close to releasing the coin is Cambodia, whose Bakong cryptocurrency might see the launch in the next few months. The country launched its pilot a while ago, in July 2019.

Details about the Sand Dollar

Of course, the central bank of the Bahamas did not rush its coin just to benefit from the first-mover advantage. It has been preparing to launch its own crypto for several years.

Evidently, it started its own pilot program back in 2019, when it used 48,000 Sand Dollars on two of the islands — Abaco and Exuma. Each Sand Dollar is pegged to the country’s national currency, the Bahamian dollar. Meanwhile, each Bahamian Dollar is pegged to the USD.

From what is known, the Sand Dollar can be transferred via a mobile app, as a 2017 study discovered that around 90% of the country’s population is using mobile phones. Residents can also use the coin at any merchant that owns an e-Wallet approved by the Central Bank.

Transaction fees are also extremely low. In fact, the central bank went as far as to call them ‘negligible.’

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