Jamaica's Central Bank Says It Would Need Court Order to Track CBDC Transactions

The bank said it would only capture general transaction data for its economic analysis and assessments.

AccessTimeIconAug 18, 2021 at 6:14 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:41 p.m. UTC
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The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), the country's central bank, said customer protection policies prevent it from being able to trace digital dollar transactions, though it has the technology to do that.

In a report by the Jamaican Observer on Wednesday, the bank said that although personal information and transactions can be monitored when Jamaica's version of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is used, it would have to overcome legal hurdles to do so.

“This information is not shared with the Bank of Jamaica and any other authority due to customers' confidentiality and data protection," the bank said in the report. "This information can only be shared under a court order."

The bank said it would only capture general data for its economic analysis and assessments.

Proponents of CBDCs say the currencies would enable improved access to regulated payments for the underbanked, while providing liquidity and enhancing payment rails among retail merchants. The BOJ expects cost savings to come from its ownership of the technology involved in producing the CBDC, according to the report.

Last week, the central bank minted its first batch of CBDCs totaling $1.5 million as part of a pilot program directed toward deposit-taking institutions and authorized payment service providers.

Jamaica has joined a growing list of countries experimenting with a digital version of a sovereign currency.

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