CEO: Local startups must be at forefront of utilizing central bank’s digital currency
NZIA Limited’s Chief Executive Officer Jay Joe was adamant yesterday about the need for Bahamian entrepreneurs and tech startups to be at the forefront of Project Sand Dollar, the Central Bank of The Bahamas’ (CBOB) digital fiat currency project.
NZIA has already started to scope the work required to implement the infrastructure for the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), which is expected to be fully rolled out in Exuma before the end of the year.
Joe said through Project Sand Dollar, NZIA will demonstrate to the world how CBDC can be used to empower true financial inclusion, moving past the conceptual ideology of financial inclusion to practical, on-the-ground implementation.
He said the key to making this sort of financial inclusion a reality for Bahamian communities is through providing and encouraging opportunities for local banks, Bahamian small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs to create new products and solutions around CBDC, that would ultimately help foster widespread adoption and economic growth.
“When we look at typical CBDC projects out there, a lot of companies are trying to position themselves to kind of build the whole kit and caboodle, we’re not about that. Our vision from day one coming into this project was a people-first attitude. What we mean by helping to foster local economic development and growth is, we are about building that infrastructure,” he said during an official signing ceremony at CBOB in which the company was formally engaged.
“We are going to build the back end and we will open up the front end to allow local entrepreneurs, tech startups, whomever to be able to build new products and create new services around CBDC. We feel that this is going to be a key aspect of really making this thing become a real, living, breathing thing that people engage in.”
“If we try to be too greedy in terms of wanting to build everything, we know that it’s not going to succeed and that’s not what we want. We want to open up that front end to allow people to build new services and solutions and we know there is a lot of creativity out there, so we want to foster that.”