Bank of Jamaica completes first CBDC pilot

Bank of Jamaica completes first CBDC pilot

The Bank of Jamaica (BoJ), has completed its f central banks digital currency (CBDC) successfully. This will allow for a national rollout during the first quarter of 2022.

The Jamaica Information Service reported that the pilot of eight months was completed by Jamaica’s central bank after it had started testing initial CBDC prototypes in March 2021.

The pilot saw the BoJ mint 230 million Jamaican Dollars (JMD) ($1.5 Million) of CBDC to be issued to deposit-taking institutions as well as authorized payment service providers. It was completed on Aug. 9, 2021.

The central bank issued 1 million JMD ($6,500), worth of digital currency, to staff in BoJ’s banking division. The bank also issued 5,000,000 JMD worth CBDC ($32,000) to the National Commercial Bank (NCB), the largest financial institution in Jamaica, on Oct. 29.

The report states that the NCB was the pilot wallet provider for Jamaica’s CBDC pilot. It onboarded 57 customers, four small merchants, and 53 consumers. In December 2021, customers were able cash-in or cash-out at an NCB-sponsored event.

Now, the BoJ plans to roll out nationwide in Q1 2022 and expects to add two wallet providers. These providers have been performing virtual simulation testing. They will now be able order CBDC from BoJ, and then distribute it their customers. According to the report, the central bank plans to concentrate on interoperability and test transactions between customers from different wallet providers.

Related: Mexico confirms its plans to launch CBDCs by 2024

The central bank of Jamaica chose eCurrency Mint, an Irish cryptography security company, to be the technology provider for its digital currencies project in March 2021. It is well-known for its involvement in developing CBDC in countries like Senegal. In July 2020, the BoJ invited technology providers to apply for its CBDC project.

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