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Bahamas creates the first digital currency-linked debit card

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In a collaboration with Mastercard and mobile wallet provider Island Pay, the Central Bank of The Bahamas has made an official digital currency called The Bahamas Sand Dollar prepaid card that allows instant conversion of traditional Bahamian dollars to digital currency.

Starting February 20, 2021, citizens can use the digital currency to pay for goods and services on the islands and anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Alongside the launch of their digital currency, the Central Bank of the Bahamas also founded the CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) to secure its financial system in case of a natural disaster. With the digital currency, citizens can transact even in the absence of a bank or an internet connection.

The government of Bahamas hopes that the Sand Dollar will create a more financially stable economy, promote more diverse purchasing methods, and facilitate government disbursements.

‘We welcome this approach to combining digital foreign exchange use with overseas forex and different cost retailers. The Central Financial bank of The Bahamas will continue to encourage fintech developments that tie into the Sand Greenback infrastructure. We want to fulfil these practices in hopes of a better economy,’ stated John Rolle, the central bank governor of Bahamas.

Mastercard’s contribution to the industry of digital currencies

With Mastercard’s platform and wide user base, alongside Island Pay’s technology, the overall payments system in the Bahamas can be enhanced and operational costs of cash distribution reduced.

Moreover, Mastercard has reemphasised that they are seeking to help develop a new form of payment and offer users the choice to use digital currencies anywhere their services are available.

Today, Mastercard already has 89 blockchain patents to its name, with 285 others pending worldwide. The company is also working with select digital currency payment providers such as BitPay and Uphold to enable instant payments for its users.

Raj Dhamodharan, the vice president of digital assets and blockchain at Mastercard, stated in the official website that they want to create a lot more possibilities for governments, shoppers and merchants.

‘It’s about preference. Mastercard isn’t here to advise you to start using cryptocurrencies. We are just here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to use digital coins,’ Dhamodharan stated while announcing the digital currency integration last week.

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