27th March 2023

Central Bank of The Bahamas Recognized with 2023 Public First Award


The Central Bank of The Bahamas was awarded the 2023 Public First Award during the event’s Appreciation Dinner on March 14, 2023 in a ceremony at the Xara Lodge, Rabat, Malta. The Public First Award is a biennial recognition, initiated in 2017 and presented to a central bank or individual whose work demonstrates the ideal of keeping the public first in mind in undertaking the design, production or issuance of a national currency.


This year’s recipient was recognized for its family of banknotes incorporating novel combinations of technology never before seen and sourced from multiple and competing suppliers. The Central Bank’s vision and encouragement was recognized as the catalyst instrumental in gaining the cooperation which led to the completion of the upgraded Bahamian banknote series known by the acronym CRISP for counterfeit-resistant integrated security products, and which have been well-received by the public and businesses.


2019 Public First Award recipient Mazen Hamdan congratulates Derek Rolle of the Central Bank of The Bahamas.


On hand to accept the award on behalf of the Central Bank was Deputy Governor Derek Rolle. He had earlier that day presented to an audience of approximately fifty central banks on the topic, “Convergence and Coexistence” which provided an overview of the durability and security feature upgrades undertaken as part of the CRISP series as well as the improvements seen in longevity and counterfeit deterrence observed following them.


Rolle also provided insights into the bank’s issuance of the Sand Dollar, one of the world’s first central bank digital currencies and participated on an expert panel discussion “Why Cash Matters for CBDC Design” led by Public First guest speaker Bill Maurer of the Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion.


Deputy Governor Rolle noted that the Central Bank of The Bahamas employs a strategy of “routinely and organically modernizing” its banknotes and that the CRISP series was now in its tenth program year.


Of the Public First Award, Rolle commented that the Public First event provided “a unique opportunity to reflect on the accelerating impacts technology continues to have on banknote design,” and was both “pleased and honored” that the bank was recognized for its striving to issue banknotes that are functional, secure and easy for the public to use.