Bahamas central bank moves forward on digital currency plans

The Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBOB) announced that they have moved up their plans to release their own digital currency as part of their bid to keep the country’s economy moving forward. This comes after a recent hurricane did massive damage to the country, leaving it in great economic peril.

The plan is for the early entry of Abaco into Project Sand Dollar, explained CBOB Governor John Rolle. He explained that the technology related to digital currencies gives the country the power to make their economy more resilient after Hurricane Dorian did over $7 billion in damage to the island nation.

In discussing the expedited plan, Rolle pointed out, “The Central Bank has begun to explore whether an early entry to project Sand Dollar into Abaco would be feasible. Some indications are there is some feasibility to that. It won’t step on Exuma’s toes but will allow us to test aspects of the emergency wireless feature that would enable rapid financial service recovery and to connect with many retail businesses early in their recovery. The San Dollar infrastructure is being designed to connect with bank accounts so that remote access to those facilities would be quickly enabled for deposit and withdrawal needs in the case of any disruption.”

The great benefit, according to Rolle, is that it would remove the dependency that people have on cash. Rolle pointed out that it is the difficulty in dealing with a hard currency which makes recoveries from natural disasters a lot more challenging. However, the use of digital currencies should expedite the process, helping the nation get back on its feet at a more rapid pace.

It would permit wireless restoration of payments connectively, avoiding the cash shipment and cash handling frustrations. It would permit electronic dispersing of aid and allow families to recapture personal dignity by restoring the flexibility to prioritize the elements of a personal need that they prefer to satisfy post-disasters.

The recent hurricane did considerable damage to the banking industry of the Bahamas. This has made it nearly impossible for people to acquire the currency needed to do business. However, using a digital currency would alleviate these kinds of issues, according to the central bank governor.

In a recent interview with Richard Meyers, a blockchain developer at Global Mesh Labs, he explained that switching to cryptocurrencies is a way to help nations that have been decimated by natural disasters to recover quickly. “In many parts of the rural and developing world internet connectivity is both expensive and intermittent. More solutions tailored to these situations would certainly facilitate the use of cryptocurrencies in places where it is needed. Bitcoin transactions can be made over alternative low-bandwidth transport layers like mesh radios and SMS.”

While the plan to introduce this project is moving ahead, no official date was provided as to when Bahamas’s cryptocurrency will be available.

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