The first 100,000 Jamaicans to use the new central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as Jam-Dex, will receive a free $16 payout in hopes of widespread adoption.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced this for the first time in a Facebook post on Thursday. The post received mixed reactions, with some Facebook users praising Holness for “embracing the digital future,” while others raised concerns about the Jamaican government’s motives, accusing Holness of trying to “bribe” citizens into the federal banking system.
According to the Jamaica Observer, about 17% of Jamaicans currently do not have a bank. While social media users speculate on the government’s motives, the Observer points out that not having a bank is costly and time-consuming for poorer Jamaicans. It is hoped that the new payment stimulus will, among other things, encourage low- and middle-income citizens to join the national banking system.
The announcement came as the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) officially ended its eight-month Jam-Dex pilot program last December 31, and is expected to complete its nationwide implementation early next month. The Bank of Japan also said that all Jamaicans with existing bank accounts will be automatically eligible for Jam-Dex digital wallets.
Jamaica’s finance minister, Nigel Clark, said in a speech to the country’s House of Representatives on Wednesday that Jam Dix must be widely recognized by its citizens and businesses if it is to succeed.
According to a report issued by the Bank of Japan on February 17, the new digital currency will be called Jamaica Digital Exchange, or Jam-Dex for short, and will have its own slogan and the following slogan: “No money, no problem.” The Bank of Japan expects to launch the currency early in the month next month.
The Jam-Dex name has been met with heavy criticism for technical and aesthetic reasons. While Jam-Dex refers to the fact that currencies are “tradable” and that they are both “digital” and “Jamaican”, the term has caused a great deal of confusion for many.
Twitter users were quick to point out the currency’s apparent misnomer, as Jam-Dex is just a digital currency, while “DEX” in crypto parlance refers to a decentralized exchange, a place where cryptocurrency is bought and sold.
Although China was one of the first countries to announce the development of its central bank digital currency, the digital yuan, the Caribbean countries are quickly becoming a leader in the adoption and adoption of the CBD. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has deployed its CBDC, DCash, in eight different member countries.
Related Topics: Central Bank Digital Coins Won’t Impact Private Stablecoin Market, Tether CTO Says
However, DCash adoption has been hampered since the January 14 crash, so the central bank-backed digital currency will be offline for nearly two months. It wasn’t until Wednesday that the ECCB announced that DCash was operating at full capacity again, noting that the reason for the failure was an “expired certificate” on Hyperledger Fabric, which hosts the DCash ledger.
Several other countries around the world have begun experimenting with CBDC implementation, with the Philippines announcing plans to launch a CBDCh project as early as Tuesday. Iran, Kenya, and the European Union are also among the latest countries to begin implementing some form of CBD.