- Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has announced that it has successfully completed the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot. In March 2021, BOJ announced that it was testing a prototype central bank digital currency with vendor, eCurrency Mint Inc. in BOJ's Fintech Regulatory Sandbox. This was followed in May 2021 by the commencement of an 8-month long pilot which ended on December 31, 2021.
- Success of the pilot project was dependent on whether a central bank digital currency along with the attendant technology solution could be successfully implemented in Jamaica. Several activities were targeted and completed during the pilot. This included minting CBDC, issuing CBDC to wallet providers and distributing CBDC to retail Customers.
- The National Roll-Out of the CBDC is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022 whereby NCB will continue onboarding existing customers and new customers. Two additional wallet providers, who are now conducting virtual simulation testing, will be able to order CBDC from BOJ and distribute it to their customers. The testing of transactions between customers of various participating wallet providers will also be undertaken as part of the national Roll-Out.
- CBDC is a form of central bank-backed currency and is, therefore, legal tender. It can be exchanged, dollar for dollar, with actual cash and is issued to licensed deposit-taking institutions (DTIs). Individuals, households, and businesses can use it to pay for goods and services, as obtained with cash. According to the Bank, the benefits to be derived by citizens, businesses and the Government from the adoption and introduction of a viable digital currency solution include increased financial inclusion and another means of efficient and secured payments. Additionally, the BOJ says CBDC represents an opportunity for DTIs to improve cash management processes and costs.
(Sources: Bank of Jamaica)