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Central Bank to sign contract for digital currency system

The Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) is moving closer toward an evolved payment structure to provide for the first digital currency in The Bahamas.

CBOB will enter into an official agreement with the executives of NZIA Ltd. for the design and implementation of Project Sand Dollar on Thursday.

In March, CBOB announced the selection of NZIA Limited as the preferred technology solutions provider to design and implement the digital fiat currency system.

The initiative is an integrated, affordable electronic payment system for all businesses and residents, the central bank said.

At a time when banking services are limited in many remote Family Islands, the digital dollar is expected to provide residents with equal, expanded access to modernized digital payment capabilities while improving the overall level of financial inclusion in communities throughout the archipelago.

The central bank has yet to announce on which Family Islands the pilot program will be run, however Central Bank Governor John Rolle said the bank is aiming to implement a fully digital payment service for the Family Islands by 2020.

The initiative comes as the government moves closer to the full integration of blockchain applications and financial technology (fintech) into the financial services sector.

Earlier this month, Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration Brent Symonette said new types of financial products based on artificial intelligence, blockchain and cloud technology have emerged to enable innovative forms of financial transactions; governments must ensure that policies are implemented to facilitate innovative transitions.

Paige McCartney

Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas.
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News
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