Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has been named ‘Technology Advisor of the Year’ at Central Banking Journal’s third annual Fintech & Regtech Global Awards for advising on the world’s first consumer-ready central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The award recognises their work in assisting and partnering with a central bank in the implementation of a FinTech solution, and for showing commitment to the sector.
Norton Rose Fulbright’s global FinTech team, led by Vancouver partner John Kim, advised the international technology company NZIA Limited, which was tasked with developing a digital payments architecture and currency usable by the public – the Sand Dollar – to be issued by the Central Bank of the Bahamas. The Project Sand Dollar pilot, which launched in December of 2019, exceeded expectations and the monetary authority proceeded with the full deployment of the digital Bahamian dollar last week.
The team offered comprehensive commercial, legal and regulatory advice. This included guidance on issues relating to monetary policy, the logistics of Sand Dollar distribution through existing financial institutions, and the legislative changes that would be necessary to implement the new system.
Involved from the very beginning, and assisting NZIA on its successful RFP, Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers also drafted and negotiated a number of documents, namely the final agreement between the company and the Central Bank of the Bahamas.
Having no previous reference point to assist in shaping this first-of-a-kind payments architecture, the team performed trailblazing work, with a view to ensuring Bahamians widely embraced the new digital currency.
The cross-border Norton Rose Fulbright team was comprised of David Hunter, Hayley Ha, Patrick Chou (Vancouver), Anthony de Fazekas, David Ng (Toronto), Andrew Lom, Jennifer Huh (New York), Stella Cramer and Christina Pretorius and Desiree Reddy (Johannesburg). Mabelle Tay of Ascendant Legal provided local Singapore law advice.