The government of the self-governing British territory of Bermuda has taken another major move into cryptocurrency this week.Announced Tuesday, the island country will offer stimulus to its 71,000 residents through the distribution of a stable coin. The announcement, made by Premier E. David Burt, would offer citizens the ability to buy essential items from local stores. The government has already tested the system with a small population and a single store.
Fast Payments in CrisisThe program is being undertaken in partnership with Stablehouse, a stablecoin platform already working in the islands. Stablehouse utilizes Blockstream’s Liquid blockchain and would make payments accessible through their mobile app. Digital currencies would reduce the difficulty of moving funds to residents in need. The hope is that a digital distribution program of this type would provide nearly immediate relief to residents during times of crisis.
Bermuda as InnovatorThe government is hoping that the stimulus coin will also spur economic activity and innovation in the digital field. Bermuda already accepts tax and fee payments using US Dollar Coin (USDC) and has met for talks with Facebook’s Libra. The country hopes that digital currencies will also provide banking services to residents who remain unbanked. A hefty portion of the population do not have bank accounts but do carry smartphones, an ideal cryptocurrency situation. Other countries are also considering digital currencies for various applications. The central banks of China and Sweden are both working on a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The Bank of International Settlements also recently released an analysis on similar programs.
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