Bahamas has charted out a plan to lunch a national digital currency with the twin aims of rooting out corruption and providing services to the unbanked in the country.
The introduction of a new cryptocurrency compliments its plans for blockchain-powered digitization of all government services.
The plan to launch this digital currency was first disclosed at a recent ‘blockchain and cryptocurrency conference’ and now officials are reportedly putting the finishing touches on a legislative bill that will soon be presented to parliament.
While the Bahamian dollar is pegged to the US currency, Bahamians also use their own local currency, causing the government to spend financial resources on printing and circulating bills.
Creating a digital currency may allow for a truly native dollar to reflect the island’s US$9 billion gross domestic product, say analysts.
With the transportation of this currency being an uphill task, commercial banks are increasingly downsizing operations or leaving some islands altogether.
This forces citizens from outlying islands to make arduous boat trips to the main islands, sometimes carrying large amounts of cash, in order to do their banking.
In addition, the government believes that digital currency will push up its ranking on the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business‘ index, creating interest among foreign investors.
Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister K. Peter Turnquest, who also doubles up as Minister of Finance, has long been advocating the application of blockchain at all levels of governance. He even went to the extent of saying that a combination of blockchain and digital currency will turn the Grand Bahama into a “digital paradise of the region.”