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The Central Bank of Jamaica will be rolling out its initial plans of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as early as next month, according to reports.
As per local media outlet Jamaica Observer, the Bank of Jamaica will be launching an official pilot of the national cryptocurrency in August, within a “sandbox” environment initially. According to a note announced during a Rotary Club event, the bank’s Governor Richard Byles explained the plans of the CBDC rollout, saying:
“We’re currently looking at all the technical sides of the system and we have a sandbox in the bank that we have the whole infrastructure in. 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.”
He continued to note that the plan is to expand the project, invite more banks on board the plan, and eventually launch the CBDC to the country. He offered:
“In September to December we’ll be recruiting more of the banks to come on board and then we’ll gradually expand the pilot out into a full-fledged launch of the CBDC.”
Byles also noted that the CBDC, which is not designed to act in the same way as private cryptocurrency and digital projects, will be sold to commercial banks, as well as deposit-taking institutions and other payment service providers authorised by the Central Bank. This means that the CBDC will be regulated fully under the Bank of Jamaica and will be treated in the same way as traditional tender, with the benefits of being blockchain-based and enjoying the security thereof. Byles explained that those buying the national currency will be able to at a 1:1 ratio to the dollar. He stated:
“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.”