The Bahamas Edges Closer to Hurricane-Proof Digital Currency
The Bahamasâ central bank said it is âprogressingâ toward the full launch of a mobile phone-based digital currency (CBDC) itâs betting can withstand the battering of a Category 5 hurricane.Â
- Last September, the Bahamas struggled to rebound from Hurricane Dorianâs $3.4 billion devastation, in part because the storm, the largest in Bahamian history, had decimated the islandsâ physical banking and payments systems.
- Some Bahamian banks and ATMs remained offline for months, the central bank said in its Sunday report. âMobile phone coverage, by contrast, was generally restored within a few days after Dorian,â it said.
- The central bank believes it can fast-track future recoveries by building CBDC functionality into mobile phones. It projected this could help ease critical post-disaster recovery tools such as receiving insurance claims.
- âThe Dorian aftermath demonstrated one major benefit: rapid payments system restoration after a disaster,â the central bank said.
- It also noted a mobile phone CBDC can eliminate some pandemic-era pain points, such as queueing at a bank and physically exchanging currency.
- The central bankâs CBDC effort, known as Project Sand Dollar, is currently in the testing phase on the island of Abaco.
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