The Bahamian sand dollar is the first digital currency a central bank issues. Mastercard will work side by side with a local business to bring the digital currency to its network.

The global payments giant Mastercard, the local payments company Island Pay and the Central Bank of the Bahamas joined forces to launch the first prepaid card specialized for using the digital currency of that nation. The ‘sand dollar,’ which was the world’s first central bank digital currency, will now offer a more accessible system for users.

The card will permit users to convert the digital currency to traditional Bahamian dollars only and immediately to pay for goods and services anywhere in the world with active MasterCard spots.

The Sand Dollar: The same value as a traditional Bahamian Dollar

The sand dollar came to light in pilot mode in late 2019 and became available across the archipelago in October 2020. It has the same value and consumer protection as a traditional Bahamian dollar.

“There are 700 small islands and more than 13,000 square km of water in the Bahamas. The cash movement is expensive, making the central bank digital currency a preferred means of payment in the region,” explained the company Island Pay.

In the future, tourists will use the sand dollar, and this card intends to reduce operating costs of cash distribution and modernize the payment system in the region.

Sand Pay is a digital payments startup founded in 2016 that operates mainly in the Caribbean region. You can offer this solution by being the first to obtain a license from the Central Bank of the Bahamas to serve as a payment service provider and electronic money institution.

An Island Pay spokesperson said the card is now in beta and that the launch will happen in March 2021. Once launched, the card will link to mobile payment services such as Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

Mastercard Will Accept Cryptocurrency Payments on its Network

The Mastercard Company also considered it essential to mention 89 “blockchain patents” globally and 285 additional applications pending worldwide. These blockchain patents and applications make the company one of the largest “blockchain patent portfolios” in the payments industry.

With this technology and the wide acceptance of Mastercard by merchants and its reputation worldwide, digital currencies can expand their use on a grander scale.

Especially now that the company, through its policies, will allow all affiliated merchants to receive payments through cryptocurrencies by the end of the year.

On the other hand, it is also essential to consider that other central bank digital currencies such as China’s digital Yuan are already on the market. Thanks to its alliance with SWIFT, the leading finance and banking communications organization, this digital currency ( Digital Yuan) has also grown and now possesses the potential to expand its dominance globally.

By: Jenson Nuñez


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