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In Bermuda, you may soon be able to use digital dollars to buy rum.

Canadian fintech firm Bidali announced Thursday that, with the support of the Bermuda government, it has launched a pilot to test a digital Bermuda dollar. Under the pilot program, popular local rum company Gosling’s Limited will be accepting digital Bermuda dollars through the Stellar network. In other words, people will be able to buy rum with digital dollars.

The pilot is the latest development in Bermuda’s plan to create a comprehensive crypto payments system that uses a digitized version of the Bermuda dollar. The initiative has been underway since 2018, when Bermuda launched its licensing regime for crypto and blockchain fintech firms in the country.

According to the announcement, the first phase of the project will be coordinated by Penrose Partners, a Canadian and Bermudan emerging technology consulting firm.

“With this pilot we’re looking forward to seeing people get hands-on experience with this technology and start to realize the benefits. From there we hope to expand to other businesses in Bermuda,” said Eric Kryski, Bidali’s chief executive.  

Denis Pitcher, chief fintech adviser to Premier E. David Burt, explained that Bermuda, a British island territory in the North Atlantic Ocean with a population of around 64,000, does not have a central bank or the necessary expertise to issue the type of government-issued digital currencies countries like China are developing. 

Bermuda also does not have access to payment platforms that are typically taken for granted in other countries like PayPal or Square, Pitcher said. Under these conditions, existing crypto systems can help connect Bermudans with the global financial system.

“Our aim is to try and get the Bermuda dollar digitized on every public blockchain. Then, the markets and citizens will figure out what the best solution is,” Pitcher told CoinDesk. 

To that end, Bermuda invites ...

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