The central bank in Jamaica has increased its efforts to develop a digital version for its national currency. According to the institution, the financial product will be beneficial for a large percentage of residents without access to basic monetary services.
Jamaica’s CBDC to Help the Locals
Jamaica is another country that wants to launch a digital currency central bank. The central bank declared that everything was in place for the launch of the product in February. The institution even chose a name for its CBDC – Jam-Dex.
In a recent interview, Committee Chair and Deputy Governor of the Bank of Jamaica – Natalie Haynes – explained that the purpose of the upcoming digital currency is to aid those Jamaicans who are financially excluded from the monetary network:
“We still have a large percent of the population that remains outside of the formal financial system, the financially included.”
Further, the executive stated that Jam-Dex’s launch aims to digitally transform all aspects of the island nation’s economy.
She believes that the financial product will appeal to people who want to use electronic payment methods such as debit and credit cards. The majority of those people had also found the usage of cash to be “burden-some or in some cases – dangerous,” Haynes added.
She revealed that Bank of Jamaica will perform additional tests on the CBDC during April in order to ensure transactions are smooth. The Deputy Governor expressed hope that all issues would be resolved within the next four weeks and Jam-Dex will be presented to the wider society in the coming months.
CBDCs in the Caribbean Region
The Jamaican digital currency will be the third such project in the Caribbean Sea region once it is completed. The Bahamas launched their Sand Dollar in 2020. DCash, introduced in 2021, is the CBDC for the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
In a statement earlier this month, Jamaica’s government stated that it will increase awareness and boost employment of Jam-Dex. The government also announced that $16 would be airdropped (2500 Jamaican Dollars) to the first 100,000 CBDC wallet-holders set up after April 1.
Dr. Nigel Clarke – Minister of Finance – said the initiative’s main objective is to encourage locals to use the product as an option to conduct transactions. He stated that the government wants to encourage businesses and incentivize them to make wallets and include Jam-Dex into their daily operations. Clarke stated that the CBDC’s acceptance by vendors, bars and shops will increase its popularity.