The Bahamas CBDC Tracker

CBDC Information

CBDC Status


CBDC Launch


CBDC Model


CBDC Issued


Economic Information

Monetary Base


Cash Issued




Country Information

Freedom Rankings

Cato and Fraser Human Freedom Index:


Freedom House Index:


Reporters Without Borders Freedom Index:


The Bahamas is in the launched phase. The Central Bank of The Bahamas launched its CBDC in 2020, but has largely struggled to gain user adoption.

CBDC History and Development

In 2020, The Bahamas launched its CBDC (referred to as the Sand Dollar). Citizens are able to gain access to The Bahamas’ CBDC wallet through the Sand Dollar app after enrolling with an authorized issuer. There are two tiers of wallets available. Without a government-issued identification, people can only hold $500 at a time and cannot spend more than $1,500 a month. With identification, those numbers go up to $8,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Adoption of the CBDC in The Bahamas has been relatively low. The Central Bank of The Bahamas reported that wallets have been used less and less. However, the Central Bank of The Bahamas continues to try to spur adoption through offerings like “a $20 rebate when [consumers] showed proof of a recent top-up and a $10 rebate when they showed evidence of a current transaction at any of the participating Mall stores.”

Human Rights and Civil Liberties Concerns

The Bahamas earned a 91 out of 100 in Freedom House’s 2022 Freedom in the World report. However, some concerns persist in the country. As Freedom House noted in the report, harsh immigration policies and government corruption pose significant problems for The Bahamas. Unfortunately, the adoption of the Bahamian CBDC—the sand dollar—could worsen these issues.

Immigration policies may not immediately come to mind when considering the risks posed by CBDCs, but the surveillance capabilities of a CBDC should not be overlooked here. For example, Bahamian authorities detained over 900 Haitians in September 2021. While Bahamian authorities have turned to roadblocks in the past, a CBDC could allow authorities to establish virtual checkpoints with every purchase. Furthermore, immigrants’ success in the country is limited considering the CBDC has a $500 holding limit and a $1,500 monthly transaction limit if you do not have government identification.

Government corruption, on the other hand, is also present in the Bahamas. Freedom House warned that whistleblowers fear retaliation—a problem that is likely to be made worse by the government having direct access to each person’s financial resources through a CBDC. The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) promised to create an agency dedicated to combatting corruption, but it has yet to do so since coming to power. The failure to uphold this promise and the state of corruption generally calls into question any promises made to not abuse a CBDC in The Bahamas. Furthermore, the existence of corruption calls into question whether CBDC policies might be designed to exert political favoritism through subsidies, price controls, or other targeted restrictions.

For additional information on concerns regarding violations of human rights and civil liberties, see the following reports by Amnesty International, Financial Tyranny Index, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, and the U.S. Department of State. For additional information on concerns regarding the risks of CBDCs, see the following webpage and report by the Cato Institute: The Risks of CBDCs and Central Bank Digital Currency: Assessing the Risks and Dispelling the Myths.

For additional information regarding metrics, the methodology page explains each of the data points and provides their respective sources.