The Bahamas are now among the few countries that intend to launch central bank digital currencies (CBCD). Peter Turnquest, the Deputy Prime Minister of The Bahamas, who is also the Minister of Finance announced this during ‘The Bahamas Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference’ that was held recently.
Banking the Unbanked
The Bahamas are highly fragmented and are made up of more than 700 islands and according to Turnquest, launching a digital currency will play a significant role in offering financial services to communities that have minimal access to banks. The move comes after many commercial banks started trimming their operations in the country leaving many communities with a shortage of vital banking services.
At first, many places did not see a lot of sense in the experimentation process. However, many other places are starting to treat the initiative with a lot of seriousness and many view the CBDC as a means of keeping up to date with the latest technology, as well as other emerging trends in the financial sector. Additionally, several countries around the world are increasingly recognizing that the adoption of these new trends helps to solve some of the problems in their own currencies. It is on this point that CBDC may become promising, though also dangerous if it is used to control people’s activities too tightly.
In a statement, Turnquest noted that the government is digitizing itself plus financial services so as to complement its ease of executing business programs as well as boosting the digital Bahamas framework.
How the new initiative will benefit the country
One of the areas that stand to benefit from this program is research, which is very important to any technological revolution. Officials in Bahamas will be able to engage with blockchain technologies and get a better understanding of the effects of such technologies to the economy and the country at large.
Additionally, a CBDC will help The Bahamas in setting up a cheaper and efficient system for sending and receiving money globally. According to a report by the Observatory of Economic Complexity, The Bahamas’ exports to other countries amounted to $1.38 billion in 2016.