Jamaica’s Central Bank Mints Country’s First Batch of CBDCs

Jamaica has issued its first CBDC.

The Bank of Jamaica minted the island nation’s first batch of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) on Monday. 

  • A total of J$230 million, or roughly US$1.5 million, will be issued to deposit-taking institutions and authorized payment service providers as part of the CBDC pilot program that ends in December. 
  • In a ceremony, Jamaica Minister of Finance Dr. Nigel Clarke promised that a legislative amendment to accompany the country’s CBDC would be in place by the end of the fiscal year.
  • The bank had originally planned to begin its pilot program in May but was delayed for unspecified reasons. Jamaica has been working on developing a CBDC since early 2020. 
  • The central bank has been working with Ireland-based technology firm eCurrency Mint on the project.
  • As reported by CoinDesk, the Jamaican government views the accelerated transition to a digital society and economy as vital to an economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The government said anticipated benefits of the CBDC include increased financial inclusion since it will provide another, easier-to-access means to make payments, and for deposit-taking institutions, the opportunity to improve cash management processes and costs.

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