Chairman and chief executive of one of the country’s newest digital wallet service providers, Keith Davies, called the launch of The Bahamas’ first digital currency, the Sand Dollar, a historic milestone that will revolutionize how transactions are made between merchants and consumers.
“There’s no doubt that this is the future,” Davies told Guardian Business yesterday.
“I like the fact that we are getting ahead of the game and we are taking steps to do it. Just look around, airlines don’t accept cash, several other entities don’t take cash – Baha Mar, you cannot walk in there with cash in your pocket. So, ultimately digital transactions are safer.
“We’ve already coined the phrase ‘safer, easier, cashless’ because we understand that the tidal wave of the future is here and we want to be at the cutting edge of it.”
Davies was a part of a delegation that travelled to Exuma on Friday for the official launch of the Sand Dollar digital currency, as Kanoo is one of the financial institutions that are a part of the pilot program.
He said, while there is still some confusion about what a digital wallet is and how it works for many Bahamians, there is no doubt that everything will all become clear with companies like his, Kanoo.
“So, the one thing that the Central Bank and we want to emphasize is that the digital currency is no different than the paper money that you hold in your wallet,” Davies said.
“So, the Central Bank, like it prints money and it mints money and distributes that money from the vault of the Central Bank to other banks, they will mint and create the digital currency and they will issue it to companies like Kanoo.
“So, before Friday, we were issued several thousand dollars worth of digital currency that we hold in a digital wallet. We were then able, just like you would if you walked up to another bank and say ‘I would like to take out $10 or $100’, you would come to Kanoo and you would say ‘I’d like to hold digital currency’, and you would exchange in this instance, fiat, which is paper money, and we would then issue you a digital currency onto a digital wallet, which would be held in or with a company like Kanoo.”
The next step is, according to Davies, getting as many merchants as possible to accept digital dollars and educating the public about the benefits.