Jamaica, the island country situated in the Caribbean Sea is planning to launch its CBDC this year, according to Prime Minister Andrew Holness. The Jamaican bureaucrat tweeted about the CBDC on February 10, when he said: “the Bank of Jamaica will roll out our own digital Jamaican dollar in 2022 after a successful pilot during 2021.”
The statement follows the Jamaican central bank’s “successful” pilot it experimented with last year. At the end of 2021, the Bank of Jamaica told the public three schemes were tested during the pilot phase.
The statements stemming from Holness reiterated that the CBDC was successful and the digital currency will be the foundational infrastructure. “This will serve as a foundation for Jamaica’s digital payments architecture and will facilitate greater financial inclusion, increase transaction velocity while reducing the cost of banking for the Jamaican people,” Holness insisted. The Jamaican bureaucrat added:
This is a big step in building a nation of Peace, Opportunity, and Prosperity.
Jamaica’s CBDC Wallet Will Work With Credit Cards and Prepaid Cards, Says Sagicor Bank Jamaica Executive
Jamaica’s upcoming CBDC follows a small handful of nation-states like China, Nigeria, and Venezuela that have deployed CBDCs. Meanwhile, the European Commission has disclosed it would be unveiling a digital euro bill in 2023, and the Federal Reserve has released research and code on its CBDC project.
Bank of Jamaica worked with National Commercial Bank (NCB) on its CBDC pilot and a limited number of wallet providers. Jamaica’s central bank issued approximately $230 million worth of the CBDC on August 9. Holness expects more than 70% of the Jamaican population to adopt the CBDC in five years.
The vice-president of retail banking at Sagicor Bank Jamaica, Sabrina Cooper, told Jamaica Observer that the CBDC wallet will not be just for leveraging the CBDC.
“Your digital wallet is not just the CBDC, you can have debit and credit cards,” Cooper insisted. “If you look at what’s happening globally, the wallet is gonna look just like your physical wallet in your pocket or in your handbag. It’s going to have your CBDC or some kind of digital currency cash equivalent, credit cards or even prepaid cards.”