The Central Bank’s digital currency (CBDC) became a hot topic in Jamaica when the country’s central bank completed its first beta test in early January.
After the trials, Prime Minister Andrew Holness spoke with confidence about the adoption of the CBDC in the country.
Holness predicted that the majority of Jamaicans would quickly adopt digital currency, with more than 70% using a central bank currency within five years. In an interview with Bloomberg, the Jamaican Prime Minister highlighted lower banking costs and the availability of central banks’ digital currencies, adding that the digital currency would provide greater government accountability through easier tracking of public resources.
Recognizing the initial challenges of launching a nationwide CBDC scheduled for the first quarter of 2022, Holness added that the government “must figure out how to give people access to digital devices and the Internet in general.”
The Bank of Jamaica, the country’s central bank, has been a pioneer in central banks’ digital currencies by launching one of the world’s first completed nationwide pilot projects. After collaborating with the Irish cryptocurrency company eCurrency Mint in March 2021, the central bank conducted an eight-month trial period.
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The bank has released 230 million Jamaican dollars (JMD) ($ 1.5 million) from the CBDC for issuance to custodian institutions and approved payment service providers, reports Cointelegraph. The Bank of Japan then issued $ 1 million ($ 6,500) in CBDC to Bank of Japan employees and $ 5 million ($ 32,000) to National Commercial Bank, a major financial institution in the country.
The Bank of Japan plans to add two new portfolio suppliers to the central bank’s central bank, followed by a nationwide rollout in the first quarter of this year. The central bank also plans to focus on interoperability by testing customer-to-client transactions from various wallet providers.