The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has announced the nationwide roll-out of the central bank’s digital currency (CBDC) by March of next year.
The CBDC is legal tender. It should not be confused with cryptocurrency, which is issued privately, usually not backed by a central authority, and does not perform all of the essential functions of money.
The BOJ said on Friday it had successfully completed its CBDC pilot project after it first tested a prototype with eCurrency Mint in its Fintech regulatory sandbox in March. The bank oversaw another pilot project, which ends today, December 31, 20201.
The CBDC pilot was limited to wallet providers who indicated they were ready to participate within the expected time frame, the BOJ noted.
The National Commercial Bank (NCB), with its sandbox experience, joined forces with the BOJ to test the range of services to be offered with the CBDC solution.
As such, NCB will continue to integrate existing customers and new customers during the national rollout.
Meanwhile, two other wallet providers, who are currently performing virtual simulation testing, will be able to order CBDC from the BOJ and distribute it to their clients.
In addition, the testing of transactions between clients of various participating wallet providers will be undertaken – interoperability.
In August of this year, the BOJ issued $ 230 million in digital currency to be issued to depository institutions and authorized payment service providers.
It distributed $ 1 million in CBDCs to staff in its banking department and $ 5 million in CBDCs to the BCN, marking the first issue of CBDCs to a depository institution.
NCB, the pilot project’s first portfolio provider, successfully onboarded 57 clients, including four small traders and 53 consumers.
These clients performed person-to-person, cash-out and cash-out transactions through 37 accounts. He transacted with small traders (local artisan jewelers, shoe designers, and fashion and clothing stores) as part of a BCN-sponsored event, “Market on the Lawn”, which was held over early December 2021.