Bank of Jamaica completes its first CBDC pilot, plans nationwide rollout in 2022

Bank of Jamaica completes its first CBDC pilot, plans nationwide rollout in 2022


The central Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) has been reported to have successfully completed its first central bank digital currency (CBDC) project, aiming for a nationwide rollout in the first quarter of 2022.


After it had proceeded with initial CBDC prototype testing last year in March 2021, Jamaica’s central bank has finished an eight-month-long pilot project last as per news from the Jamaica Information Service.


In accordance with the pilot CBDC, BoJ had minted 230 million Jamaican dollars (roughly $1.5 million) worth of the CBDC for issuing to deposit-taking institutions and authorized payment service providers on August 9 in 2021.


Then, the central bank had notedly issued 1 million JMD (about $6,500) worth of digital currency to the BoJ’s staff at its banking department. On October 29, the bank had also issued 5 million JMD ($32,000) worth of CBDC to its National Commercial Bank (NCB), which is reported to be one of the ​​largest financial institutions in Jamaica.


According to the report, the NCB is the first wallet provider in Jamaica’s CBDC pilot. It is noted to have onboarded 57 customers – including four small merchants and 53 consumers. Customers had been able to conduct person-to-person, cash-in and cash-out transactions at an event sponsored by the NCB in December 2021.


Of now, the BoJ now is planning to proceed with a national rollout in Q1 2022, the move being expected to be adding two new wallet providers. These providers have known to java already conducted virtual simulation testing. Hence they would be able to order CBDC from BoJ for distributing it to their customers. 


The central bank has plans of also focusing on interoperability by testing transactions between customers holding different wallet providers.


The central bank of Jamaica had selected eCurrency Mint as its official technology provider for the digital currency project in March 2021. eCurrency Mint is an Irish cryptography security firm that is highly popular for being involved in the CBDC development in countries like Senegal. 


The BoJ had previously invited technology providers for the submission of applications for its CBDC project in July 2020.

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