The Bank of Jamaica’s much-anticipated central bank digital currency will launch next month, according to a report by the Jamaica Observer.

Fast facts

  • Previously due to launch in May, the CBDC will initially be implemented through the National Commercial Bank — the biggest financial institution in the country — before being expanded to other banks between September and December.
  • Bank of Jamaica Governor Richard Byles, speaking at a Rotary Club ceremony last week, said the CBDC would be sold only to licensed commercial banks, deposit-taking institutions and authorized payment service providers, and would be fully integrated into financial market infrastructure.
  • “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,” he said.
  • In 2020, Caribbean neighbor the Bahamas became the first nation in the world to launch a live retail version of a CBDC, named the sand dollar. Since then, CBDC projects have launched around the world, with China’s e-CNY digital yuan the most developed among the major CBDC initiatives.