Jamaica On Course To Launch A Digital Currency This Year 

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that the Bank of Jamaica is planning to “roll out” its central bank digital currency (CBDC) following a successful pilot last year. 

Jamaica’s CBDC will happen this year: 

The island country of Jamaica, located in the Caribbean Sea, plans to launch its CBDC this year, according to Prime Minister Andrew Holness. “The Bank of Jamaica will launch its own digital Jamaican dollar in 2022 following a successful pilot programme in 2021,” wrote the Jamaican official on February 10. 

The announcement follows the Bank of Jamaica’s “successful” pilot it tested last year. At the end of 2021, the bank announced three schemes were tested during the pilot. Holness emphasized the CBDC’s success and the digital currency will be the foundation of the digital economy. 

Holness emphasized that this architecture will serve as a foundation for Jamaica’s digital payments system and facilitate greater financial inclusion, increase transaction velocity, and reduce the cost of banking for Jamaicans. 

This is an important step in building a nation of peace, opportunity, and prosperity, he added. 

A CBDC Wallet for Jamaica will work with pre-paid and credit cards, says an executive of Sagicor Bank Jamaica 

Jamaica follows a handful of nation-states such as China, Nigeria and Venezuela that have established CBDCs. The European Commission announced it will release a digital euro bill in 2023, and the Federal Reserve released research and code for its CBDC programme. 

A limited number of wallet providers were involved in the CBDC pilot project of the Bank of Jamaica and National Commercial Bank (NCB). The central bank of Jamaica issued approximately $230 million worth of CBDC on August 9. Holness expects more than 70% of Jamaica’s population to adopt the CBDC within five years. 

In an interview with Jamaica Observer, Sagicor Bank Jamaica executive director of retail banking Sabrina Cooper said the CBDC wallet will not only be used for leveraging the CBDC but also for other purposes. 

Cooper insisted, “Your digital wallet isn’t just for CBDC; it can also handle debit and credit cards. If you look at what’s happening globally, the wallet will look like your physical wallet in your pocket or handbag,” Cooper stated. 

CBDCs or some sort of digital currency cash equivalent will be available, as well as credit cards or prepaid cards.” 

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