According to a recent interview between Reuters and Natalie Haynes, who is the deputy governor for banking operations and financial markets infrastructure with the Central Bank of Jamaica, its national digital currency is set to go public in Q1 2022.
Jamaica’s central bank minted J$230 million (Jamaican dollars) in August last year for the central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot program. The amount was worth about US$1.49 million at the time of the announcement. The pilot program ended in December 2021 and the Bank of Jamaica plans to exchange fiat Jamaican dollars with the CBDC version at a 5% rate each year.
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The first CBDC deposit was J$5 million worth roughly US$38,000 which was distributed to the National Commercial Bank (NCB). Another J$1 million were sent for the central bank’s employees.
NCB was the first financial institution to test the CBDC with 57 people and small merchants who successfully completed person-to-person transactions using digital wallets. The transactions were made between different kinds of brands and merchants, according to the BOJ.
The chief product officer of TFOB (2021) told Reuters, “It’s a different way to pay and allows for easy peer-to-peer transactions.” (TFOB is NCB’s subsidiary)
The central bank also held a competition for branding its digital currency. The bank recently announced the winners for the best name, tagline, and logo with contestants winning J$350,000 for the naming contest and J$250,000 for the best tagline.
The winner for the best logo design also received J$350,000. The winners will get an extra J$25,000 worth of the CBDC to their NCB digital wallets. The winning name, tagline, and logo will be revealed to the public when the copyrighting and registration processes are completed.
At the time of press, US$1 is worth J$155.40.
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