According to local news reports, the delayed roll-out of Jamaican digital currency, which should have started in May, will commence with a National Commercial Bank (NCB) pilot in which customers will be introduced to the national digital currency. Bank of Jamaica Governor Richard Byles said that they are looking at all technical sides of the system and have a sandbox in the bank that holds the whole infrastructure.
“We have to test it rigorously as a pilot.”
The governor further added, “as we work through the technical minting [redeeming] of the currency, we have to test it rigorously as a pilot, and that we’ll do in August.” Bank of Jamaica plans to recruit more of the banks to come on board and gradually expand the pilot out into a full-fledged launch of its national digital currency. Last week, the governor speaking at a Rotary Club installation ceremony said that the CBDC, which was not the same as the more private-based cryptocurrency, will only be sold to licensed commercial banks, deposit-taking institutions (DTIs), and payment service providers authorized by the Bank of Jamaica
“CBDC is far more efficient than cash.”
“The financial institutions will mint and sell CBDC to businesses and individuals at a rate of $1 in cash to 1 CBDC. However, the financial institutions will hold the CBDC in digital wallet accounts at their respective banks for customers to access in order to make purchases, or receive payments from mobile phone to mobile phone,” governor further stated. The national digital currency will complement the use of banknotes and coins also issued by the central bank. Byles, speaking about the benefits of using a CBDC, said that it was in most cases far more efficient than cash. Many other central banks across countries are also exploring CBDCs.