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Jamaica is rolling out its central bank digital currency in the 1st quarter of 2022 after a successful pilot

Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images

  • Jamaica is rolling out its central bank digital currency in the first quarter of 2022 after a successful pilot.
  • The testing began in May and concluded in December, the Bank of Jamaica said.
  • Bank of Jamaica worked in partnership with digital currency vendor eCurrency Mint.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell

Jamaica is rolling out its central bank digital currency in the first quarter of 2022 following a successful pilot, the Jamaican government said Friday.

After the announcement of a prototype CBDC in March, the pilot began in May and concluded in December. The Bank of Jamaica worked in partnership with digital currency vendor eCurrency Mint. The country’s National Commercial Bank was also part of the pilot to test the range of services to be offered.

The services tested included minting $1.5 million worth of CBDCs, issuing them to wallet providers, and distributing the digital currencies to retail customers. 

During the pilot, NCB was the first wallet provider to be issued CBDCs and onboarded four small merchants as well as 53 consumers.

For the full rollout, NCB will onboard new customers, allow two additional wallet providers to order CBDCs from the central bank, and test transactions between customers of wallet providers.

A CBDC is a type of central bank liability — similar to a currency — issued in digital form, which could be used by the general public. It has the full backing of the central bank but could be managed by designated private financial institutions.

For now, 87 countries are exploring their own CBDCs, and 14, including major economies like China and South Korea, are in the pilot stage, according to a tracker by the Atlantic Council. Nine have already fully launched them.

Of the countries with the four largest central banks — the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, and the Bank of England — the US is the furthest behind, according to the tracker.


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