According to a recent official tweet, the central bank of the Bahamas revealed that on 20th Oct. it’ll begin the “gradual national release” of its user-facing “Sand Dollar” virtual asset, perhaps the world’s first retail CBDC.
Though it had been already known that the Bahamas was eyeing a mid-October release, the Friday statement sets a date for the historic event and expands new light on the upcoming rollout plans.
Within the official primary phase, private-sector players like banks as well as the credit unions will be ready with their systems with KYC and other compliance checks across low-value, personal as well as enterprise wallets.
Sand Dollar’s 2nd phase, slated for early- via mid-2021, will specialize in preparing essential infrastructure services within the government and personal sectors, like utility companies, for the CBDC.
A growing cadre of monetary and payment institutions slated to intersect with Sand Dollar has already invested in building out mobile wallets for their users and are on-boarded for the rollout accordingly, the central bank added.
Those wallets will be secured with “multi-factor authentication” safeguards, consistent with the announcement.
Users cannot & shouldn’t expect to possess cash-like anonymity while using the CBDC, the central bank said. Even so, it recently added on Friday that wallets are going to be encrypted “to ensure confidentiality.”
Moreover, the central bank added that it’s prepped the CBDC by subjecting it to a “rigorous cybersecurity assessment” to beat public fears of paying with a virtually native currency.
Regulations surrounding the upcoming Sand Dollar CBDC are still within the works. The central bank added that those “will be crystallized within the public ecosystem over the month of October.”
“The intended outcome of Project Sand Dollar is that every resident within the Bahamas would have use of a central bank-issued virtual currency, on a modernized technology platform, with experience and convenience – legally and otherwise – that resembles cash,” the central bank concluded.