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The Bahamas issues world’s first Central Bank Digital Currency

The Bahamas has launched the world's first Central Bank-backed Digital Currency (CBDC) called "Sand Dollar" for its nearly 393,000 residents, Project Sand Dollar announced on October 20. After the People’s Bank of China (PBC) announced that it would be launching a "Digital Yuan" in August last year, several central banks across the world that had been mulling the idea for several years announced that they had begun developing their own CBDCs, or they were now actively examining issuing their own digital currencies. With the launch of Sand Dollar, the Central Bank of the Bahamas has taken the lead. Unlike crypto-currencies which are issued without a central bank backing and are privately held and distributed, a CBDC is a digital currency which holds the same value as fiat currencies issued by a country's central bank. Each Sand Dollar is backed by the country's national currency the Bahamian Dollar, which in turn is pegged to the US Dollar. The pilot program for the Sand Dollar was conducted back in December 2019, where 48,000 Sand Dollars were distributed to a closed group of island residents. "Most of the benefits of introducing a digital currency are still unquantifiable. However, they include a potential suppression of economic costs associated with cash usage, and benefits to the Government from improved expenditure and tax administration systems.," the central bank said. According to the project's website, Sand Dollar transfers are made through e-wallets on mobile devices and can now be accepted at any merchant with a Central Bank…

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