The Central bank digital currency (CDBC) has been in the headlines since Jamaica’s central bank successfully completed the first pilot test in January. Jamaica’s prime minister, Andrew Holness, states about the CBDC adoption in the country. He predicted that the majority of the Jamaican population would be quick to adopt this transition to digital currency. Over 70% are already using the CBDC within five years. The prime minister also highlighted some insights about reducing the banking costs and the inclusivity of this currency. According to him, this digital currency will bring greater government accountability in the long run due to effective public resources tracking.
After admitting the initial challenges of the nationwide CBDC launch, Holness stated that the government is still trying to figure out better processes to safely help people access digital devices and the internet in general.
The Bank of Jamaica has been the pioneer of this transition and has completed the first nationwide pilot projects in the world. In collaboration with the Irish cryptograph firm eCurrency Mint in march 2021, this bank has conducted an eight-month-long pilot for this transition.
According to many reports, the bank has minted about 230 million Jamaican dollars(JMD) ($1.5 million)for the CBDC for insurance to deposit-taking institutions and authorized payment service providers of the country. BoJ issued over 1 million JMD($6,500) in CBDC for the BoJ’s banking department staff and 5 million JMD($32,000) for the National Commercial Bank, a leading financial institution in the country.
BoJ is also planning to add two new wallet providers for the CBDC, along with an upcoming nationwide rollout in the first quarter of the year. They are also planning to test out the transactions between customers of different wallet providers for more convenience.