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The Central Bank of Bahamas is planning to launch a Blockchain based pilot digital currency. With this Bahamas will join the list of countries where Central Banks are experimenting with digital currencies. During the recent ‘Bahamas Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Conference’, Deputy Prime Minister of Bahamas who also served as the Minister of Finance ‘K Peter Turnquest’, announced that a pilot digital currency will be introduced by the Central Bank of Bahamas.
Why is it a necessity?
Turnquest said that Bahamas consists of more than 700 islands, islets & cays and with many commercial banks in the archipelagic state downsizing, many communities in Bahamas are without any banking services. With digital currency in place Bahamas would be able to bank the unbanked.
Turnquest said digital payments service is “the way forward for this era of governance”. Turnquest further added by saying, “As an island nation, where transportation can be an inconvenience for many, especially the elderly, and costly, we must offer financial services digitally and securely.”
Digital Currency to tackle Corruption
Today there is a single portal for entry and since all of the processing being done behind the scenes, either through electronic data interchange or through human facilitation, one have to tip somebody in order to get service. Turnquest also believes that incorporation of the Blockchain technology into government system will eliminate a lot of the human element that mostly facilitates corruption. With introduction of Blockchains, there will be a digital ledger recording all transactions executed and ultimately making it simpler to track down the whole process.
Challenges for Bahamas
Blockchain technology is still in its infancy, full integration could take a decade or more. However, the potential that the technology offers paired with enthusiasm about becoming a Blockchain hot spot puts the Bahamas in a prime position. Although there are many challenges that come with establishing and growing a technology sector, yet Bahamas has been stated to be uniquely positioned to swiftly become a technology hub for companies who want to grow in Blockchain space.
In North America, the Bahamas is joined in exploring CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies) by Canada. Other countries whose Central Banks are exploring CBDCs are Norway & Sweden. Research has also been conducted by the Bank of England with a view to determining the risks and benefits that would come from a CBDC.