Jamaica aiming at Q1 2022 for CBDC launch

Namrata Shukla
Source: Pixabay

Jamaica’s Central Bank has announced the successful completion of its central bank digital currency [CBDC] trial. The Bank of Jamaica is now planning for a national rollout in the first quarter of 2022.

According to the official announcement of the central bank’s website,

“In March 2021, BOJ announced that it was testing a prototype central bank digital currency with vendor eCurrency Mint Inc. in BOJ’s Fintech Regulatory Sandbox. This was followed in May 2021 by the commencement of an 8-month long pilot which ends today, 31 December 2021.”

The BoJ had minted 230 million Jamaican dollars [JMD] [~$1.5 million] worth of the CBDC for issuance to deposit-taking institutions and authorized payment providers in August.

The pilot was conducted for wallet providers who showed readiness to participate within the scheduled timeframe. National Commerical Bank [NCB] also came along to test the range of services to be offered using the CBDC solution. NCB onboarded 57 customers which included 4 small merchants and 53 consumers.

After calling the pilot a success, the national roll-out in Q1 2022 will see NCB continuing to onboard existing customers and new customers. The Bank of Jamaica added,

“Two additional wallet providers, who are now conducting virtual simulation testing, will be able to order CBDC from BOJ and distribute to their customers.”

It further added that it will be focusing on interoperability by testing transactions between customers of different wallet providers.

Apart from Jamaica, China has been working on its CBDC and it just released the e-CNY wallet for digital yuan on the iOS and Android app stores in the country. As the countries reach completion, we may see many CBDCs pilot in 2022.