Sand Dollar circulation grows but spend still low

The Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) is focused on getting more merchants to buy into the Sand Dollar project, focusing more on connectivity and interoperability than how many Sand Dollars are currently in circulation, CBOB Governor John Rolle, said yesterday, adding that there are more than $300,000 worth of Sand Dollars in circulation.

Rolle, who was speaking during the bank’s quarterly economic press briefing, said when the connectivity and interoperability exercise with the Bahamas Automated Clearing House (BACH) is complete, then an aggressive push to onboard more businesses will begin.

“On the Sand Dollar project, we’ve made great progress,” Rolle said.

“In the near term, our priorities have been around completing the connectivity of the infrastructure to the banking system. So, we are nearing the end of ensuring there’s interoperability with the BACH, so that there can be a pass-through link between Sand Dollar wallets and deposit accounts.”

He explained that there are more than 20,000 individuals with mobile wallets who have access to Sand Dollars.

“What is important now is to expand the merchant base, so that there’s more spending across platforms,” said Rolle.

“It is at that point we will begin to see more of the statistics on the amount of Sand Dollars in use and in circulation.”

He explained that despite the low amount of Sand Dollars in circulation, their use continues to grow. He added though that $300,000 is not a very meaningful number as there is more exchange between wallet platforms and not real spending at merchants.

“What is most important for us is for there to be more spending across the platforms of the wallet sponsors,” he said.

“What we’re seeing now are funds that are being exchanged between platforms… in many cases, these are net settlements going on across platforms.”

The Bahamas has been lauded internationally for its development of the world’s first digital fiat currency.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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