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Bahamas to launch digital currency

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The Central Bank of The Bahamas is moving to introduce a pilot digital currency for the country.

The announcement was made by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest recently during The Bahamas Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference.

He said the production of a modern fully digital payment service is the way forward for this era of governance.

The finance minister said 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, he said, where transportation can be an inconvenience for many — especially the elderly, and costly — “we must offer financial services digitally and securely,” adding that he hopes the island of Grand Bahamas will become the digital paradise of the region.

According to Turnquest, in the near future he hopes the government will introduce a pilot program using blockchain certifications for people who complete studies at the National Training Agency.

Blockchain is the world’s leading software platform for digital assets.

He said as the first step of doing business initiative, the government would have moved to a new online interface for start-up companies registering their business for the first time in The Bahamas.

Turnquest said when he came into government over a year ago, he wanted the country to have use of a blockchain type of technology so as to be more efficient, and root out corruption in the government system.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, in delivering the keynoted address at the opening of the conference, said in spite of the challenges that come with establishing and growing the technology sector, The Bahamas is uniquely positioned to quickly become the jurisdiction of choice for technology companies, particularly blockchain technology companies.

Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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