The Bahamas confirmed it will cross the central bank digital currency (CBDC) finish line next month.
- In a late Friday tweet, the Central Bank of the Bahamas announced that on Oct. 20 it will begin the Ã¢ÂÂgradual national releaseÃ¢ÂÂ of its consumer-facing Ã¢ÂÂSand DollarÃ¢ÂÂ digital currency, perhaps the worldÃ¢ÂÂs first retail CBDC.
- Though it was already known that the Bahamas was eyeing a mid-October release, the Friday announcement sets a hard date for the historic event and sheds new light on the rollout.
- In the first phase, private-sector players such as banks and credit unions will ready their systems with know-your-customer (KYC) and other compliance checks across low-value, personal and enterprise wallets.
- Sand DollarÃ¢ÂÂs second phase, slated for early- through mid-2021, will focus on preparing essential infrastructure services in the government and private sectors, such as utility companies, for the CBDC.
- A growing cadre of financial and payment institutions slated to intersect with Sand Dollar have already invested in building out mobile wallets for their users and have been on-boarded for the rollout accordingly, the central bank said.
- Those wallets will be secured with Ã¢ÂÂmulti-factor authenticationÃ¢ÂÂ safeguards, according to the announcement.
- Users cannot and should not expect to have cash-like anonymity when using the CBDC, the central bank said. Even so, it said Friday that wallets will be encrypted Ã¢ÂÂto ensure confidentiality.Ã¢ÂÂ
- Additionally, the central bank said it has prepped the CBDC by subjecting it to a Ã¢ÂÂrigorous cybersecurity assessmentÃ¢ÂÂ to overcome public fears of paying with a digitally native currency.
- Regulations surrounding the Sand Dollar CBDC are still in the works. The central bank said those Ã¢ÂÂwill be crystalized in the public space over the month of October.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂThe intended outcome of Project Sand Dollar is that all residents in The Bahamas would have use of a central bank digital currency, on a modernized technology platform, with an experience and convenience Ã¢ÂÂÃÂ legally and otherwise Ã¢ÂÂ that resembles cash,Ã¢ÂÂ the central bank said.
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