Vancouver advises NZIA Limited on creation of central bank digital currency

May 31, 2019

Client: NZIA Limited

Lawyers:

Our Vancouver office is advising NZIA Limited on the development and implementation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC – a legal tender replacing or supplementing physical cash) for the Central Bank of the Bahamas. The initiative, “Project Sand Dollar,” utilizes distributed ledger technology to provide a near-instantaneous payment system that is both broadly accessible and constantly available, even if the transacting parties have poor network connectivity or if communications are lost. 

We assisted with preparing the response to the RFP, which was eventually selected out of 30 proponents. We assisted in drafting and negotiating teaming agreements for NZIA, and the final agreement with the Central Bank of the Bahamas.  We also consulted on the design and architecture of NZIA’s CBDC solution to work with existing financial and regulatory requirements. 

Project Sand Dollar has a major impact not only for the Bahamas but internationally as well. Currently over 60 central banks around the world are considering issuing their own CBDC. Project Sand Dollar is among the first in the world that has proceeded to the implementation stage. The Bahamas is set to establish itself as one of the few nations with post-modern financial systems. Locally, the initiative aims to combat shadow banking services, barriers to financial services, and other previously unsolved concerns.

The innovative nature of Project Sand Dollar required us to provide equally innovate solutions for situations where the existing legal framework or standard industry practice had not yet caught up.

The team is led by John Kim and includes Hayley Ha and Patrick Chou.