Jamaica’s Central Bank to Start CBDC Pilot With Financial Institutions in August

The bank plans to expand the trial between September and December.

AccessTimeIconJul 7, 2021 at 2:28 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:22 p.m. UTC

The Bank of Jamaica is planning to test its delayed central bank digital currency (CBDC) across financial institutions in August, according to a report in the Jamaica Observer.

  • Speaking at a Rotary Club conference last week, Bank of Jamaica Governor Richard Byles said the banks plans to expand the trial between September and December and then gradually move toward a full-fledged launch.
  • According to Byles, financial institutions will exchange CBDC with businesses and individuals at a rate of J$1 (US$0.07) in cash to 1 CBDC.
  • “We're currently looking at all the technical sides of the system and we have a sandbox in the bank that we have the whole infrastructure in,” Byles said. ”As we work through the technical minting [redeeming] of the currency, we have to test it rigorously as a pilot and that we'll do in August.”
  • The bank had originally planned to begin the pilot in May, but was delayed for unspecified reasons.
  • The central bank is working with Ireland-based technology firm eCurrency Mint to support the rollout.
  • As reported by CoinDesk, the Jamaican government views the accelerated transition to a digital society and economy as vital to an economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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