In terms of retail application and offering of an important glimpse in the race to issue government-backed cryptocurrencies, a new ranking central bank digital currencies, places Bahamas at the top of the leader board.
Premised on two factors: retail applications and inter-bank applications, the 2021 CBDC index, global consulting firm PwC surveyed the level of central-bank maturity in deploying cryptocurrrencies. Interbank or wholesale CBDC are restricted to major financial institutions for settlement, while CBDC that can be held and transacted directly by individuals and companies in the form of digital cash, are called Retail application.
“More than 60 central banks have already entered the central bank digital currency race, said Benoit Sureau, a PwC partner for the France & Maghreb region. He described CBDCs as a “game-changer” that will provide “access to alternative payment solutions for citizens and corporate…”
The retail CBDC ranking gave the Bahamas a score of 92 out of 100 to lead all other countries. Cambodia was a distant second at 83, followed by Mainland China (75) and Ukraine (71).
The Bahamas scored favorably due to the successful implementation of its so-called Sand Dollar in October 2020. Backed by the Central Bank of The Bahamas, the Sand Dollar is a digital version of the national currency issued through authorized financial institutions, or AFIs. As PwC notes:
“All residents can access the digital wallet through the mobile application or a physical payment card. The records collected during daily operations, such as income and spending information, can support applications for micro-loans.”