• The Jamaican Central Bank issues the first batch of national digital currency

  • The Bank of Jamaica, or BOJ, has minted the country’s first batch of CBDC, signaling the country’s aggressive progress with the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).

    At a financial ceremony on Monday, the BOJ officially announced that its dedicated CBDC division demonstrated the process of minting digital currency.

    The process of issuing a digital version of the Jamaican dollar (JMD) was overseen by Jamaica’s finance minister, Nigel Clarke, BOJ governor Richard Byles, and a group of senior BOJ executives, as well as a management team from Irish technology firm eCurrency Mint.

    According to the announcement, the BOJ intends to issue 230 million JMD ($1.47 million) in the form of a CBDC to deposit-taking institutions and authorized payment service providers as part of a digital currency pilot program that will end in December.

    Minister Clarke stated that the Jamaican government has made rapid progress in the development of the country’s digital currency project, emphasizing its critical role in the island country’s creation of a digital economy. According to the official, local lawmakers are working on a legislative amendment that will provide a legal foundation for the Jamaican CBDC by the end of 2021.

    According to BOJ governor Byles, the next step in Jamaica’s CBDC adoption would be to ensure widespread access and acceptance by bringing CBDC to users.

    According to the announcement, the Jamaican CBDC intends to provide a variety of benefits to users, including “easier-to-access means of efficient and secure payments.” “CBDC presents an opportunity for deposit-taking institutions and the BOJ itself to improve cash management processes and costs,” the central bank added.

    The latest development is consistent with the BOJ’s CBDC plans, as governor Byles announced that the Jamaican CBDC’s initial roll-out was scheduled for August. The CBDC, which is controlled and issued by the BOJ, is intended to supplement Jamaica’s banknotes by allowing financial institutions to issue the currency to individual and business account holders, with each digital token pegged to the JMD on a 1:1 basis.

    The announcement comes as a growing number of countries aggressively test national CBDC initiatives, with Venezuela planning to launch a CBDC in October. According to a Friday analysis by JPMorgan strategist Josh Younger, retail CBDCs risk “disintermediating commercial banks,” which could result in a 20% or 30% loss of funding.

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