Jamaica Completes CBDC Pilot, Expects Rollout Later This Year

The Bank of Jamaica completed the eight-month pilot on Dec. 31, 2021.

Jan 3, 2022 at 11:45 a.m. UTC
Updated Jan 3, 2022 at 4:05 p.m. UTC

The Jamaican central bank, Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), announced that it has successfully completed the trial of its central bank digital currency (CBDC).

  • The eight-month pilot was initially delayed for unspecified reasons, according to a report from CoinDesk. The announcement does not mention anything about the delay, only stating that the pilot began in May and ended on Dec. 31, 2021.
  • Jamaica is set to roll out the CBDC in the first quarter of 2022.
  • The BOJ had been working with Ireland-based technology firm eCurrency Mint on the sandbox project. The scope of the pilot was limited to digital wallet providers who indicated readiness to participate within the time frame.
  • The National Commercial Bank (NCB) also came on board to test the range of services that can use the CBDC solution, according to the announcement.
  • The services tested included minting J$230 million (circa $1.5 million) worth of digital currency, issuing CBDCs to wallet providers such as the BOJ’s banking department (J$1 million worth of CBDC to be distributed to staff). The first CBDC issuance to a deposit institution was worth J$5 million, made to NCB.
  • The NCB also onboarded 57 customers who conducted person-to-person, cash-in and cash-out transactions through 37 accounts. This included transactions with small merchants, such as local craft jewelers, footwear designers and fashion and garment boutiques, the BOJ said.
  • The rollout will see a continuation of onboarding existing customers and new customers, allowing two additional wallet providers, who are currently conducting testing, to distribute CBDCs to their customers, and the testing of transactions between customers of various participating wallet providers.

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Amitoj Singh is CoinDesk's regulatory reporter covering India. He holds BTC and ETH below CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.