The Bank of Jamaica is on track to roll out its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the first quarter of 2022, a top official at the country’s central bank has revealed. The bank is seeking to increase the number of commercial banks that onboard new users and conduct quality assessments before the rollout.
Jamaica has been ramping up its CBDC efforts recently.
Jamaica has been ramping up its CBDC efforts recently, with Prime Minister Andrew Holness predicting that three in four Jamaicans will be using the national digital currency in five years. The Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) kicked off the CBDC pilot in May 2021 and completed it in December, announcing that the national rollout would be in Q1 this year. According to Natalie Haynes, the central bank’s deputy governor in charge of financial markets and currency operations, the Caribbean country is still on course to hit this target.
The central bank is planning the rollout before the end of March.
During the central bank’s digital quarterly media briefing, Haynes revealed that the BoJ is working on three agendas to ensure the rollout before the end of March. The first is increasing the number of deposit-taking institutions that can help onboard new users. Currently, only the National Commercial Bank can help onboard new users, and according to the official, it has already brought in 300 merchants, ranging from street vendors to barbers and hairdressers. While the effort is commendable, it’s still not enough, Haynes believes. The BoJ is also pushing for the amendment of the Bank of Jamaica Act, which will make the CBDC legal tender and designate the BoJ as the sole issuer.