NZIA Limited’s CEO Jay Joe Says Tech Startups Are Crucial For Adoption
Jay Joe, the CEO of NZIA Limited has said that Bahamian tech startups will be absolutely essential in the development of Project Sand Dollar.
Through Project Sand Dollar, the central bank will develop and pilot a general purpose, digital version of the Bahamian dollar — that is, with both wholesale and retail applications. The Bank would have statutory authority to issue currency in digital form and to develop regulations to govern the instrument. The pilot would allow the Bank to enhance the digital system before it is deployed nationally.
It will align with all of the statutory rules that govern existing liabilities of the Central Bank; always exchanged at one for one with existing notes, coins, and balances. The design will also incorporate best international practices around AML and CFT risks. Anonymity is not a feature. This framework will rely intimately on the national identify infrastructure when permitting users to hold and exchange digital money.
During an official signing ceremony at CBOB, Joe said:
“When we look at typical CBDC projects out there, a lot of companies are trying to position themselves to kind of build the whole kit and caboodle, we’re not about that. Our vision from day one coming into this project was a people-first attitude. What we mean by helping to foster local economic development and growth is, we are about building that infrastructure.”
The government of Bahamas is also eagerly anticipating the development of the project as evident from the following statements by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Bahamas, K Peter Turnquest:
“A digital Bahamian currency is especially important for the many family islands as they have seen many commercial banks downsize and pull out of their communities, leaving them without banking services. 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.”