The Central Bank of The Bahamas will host its second Blockchain seminar, Blockchain & The Bahamas: Raising the Bar, next week. With a continued focus on The Bahamas’ Payments System Modernisation Initiative, the event will provide updated information on Project Sand Dollar, The Bahamas’ digital currency project.
A press release states that the seminar will also highlight broader domestic reforms that the Central Bank is targeting for their payments system. Attention will be focussed on the Bank’s efforts to promote greater financial inclusion, while simultaneously reducing the economy’s reliance on cash transactions.
Fintech solutions are one of many innovations that could impact Bahamian financial services. The seminar will provide updates on international regulatory developments and evolving standards that could also impact on The Bahamas.
One of the the lead speakers will be Senator Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, who will share information on The Bahamas’ e-government initiative. This initiative is expected to provide a public sector infrastructure that also supports a mobile, digital financial services space.
Equal Access To Digital Payment Capabilities Across Island Communities
The Central Bank is working with startup NZIA Limited as their preferred technology solutions provider to design and implement the Sand Dollar. The Bank described NZIA as combining “the collective know-how and experience of IBM, a frontrunner in enterprise blockchain”. They are also partnering with Zynesis Pte. Ltc, a blockchain research and development Lab and Consultancy, who design and build decentralization systems.
The Central Bank expects that all residents in The Bahamas will have “equal, expanded access to modernised digital payments capabilities”. A concurrent reduction in cash transactions is also expected. The evolved Bahamian payments infrastructure should reduce service delivery costs, increase transactional efficiency and improve the overall level of financial inclusion in communities throughout the archipelago.
A pilot scheme is likely to be rolled out across chosen “household island communities”.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Peter Turnquest, told The Nassau Guardian that draft blockchain legislation should be presented to the country’s Cabinet by next week. Turnquest said that he hopes the island of Grand Bahama will change into the digital paradise of the area.