The Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) has completed its first Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and targets a nationwide launch in the first quarter of 2022.
230 million Jamaican dollars were minted
After beginning initial testing of the CBDC prototype in March 2021, the Central Bank of Jamaica ended an eight-month pilot project last Friday, the Jamaica Information Service reported. Under the pilot project, the central bank minted 230 million Jamaican dollars ($1.5 million) of CBDC to deposit-taking institutions and authorized payment service providers on August 9, 2021.
The central bank then issued JMD 1 million ($6,500) worth of digital currency to BoJ’s banking department employees. On October 29, the bank also issued CBDC worth JMD 5 million ($32,000) to the National Commercial Bank (NCB), one of Jamaica’s largest financial institutions. According to the report, NCB was the first wallet provider in Jamaica’s CBDC pilot and has enrolled 57 customers, including four small merchants and 53 consumers.
Nationwide rollout in the first quarter of 2022
The BoJ is now planning a nationwide rollout in the first quarter of 2022 and expects to add two new wallet providers. These vendors have already conducted virtual simulation tests and would order CBDC from the BoJ and then distribute it to their customers. The report said that the central bank also plans to focus on interoperability by testing transactions between customers of different wallet providers.
The Central Bank of Jamaica selected Irish cryptographic security company eCurrency Mint as the technology provider for its digital currency project in March 2021. The company is known for having been involved in developing the CBDC in countries such as Senegal and the Philippines. The BoJ had invited applications from technology providers for its CBDC project back in July 2020.