A statement by the bank stated that the pilot testing of the central bank’s digital currency in Jamaica was completed successfully. However, the statement reveals that one payment service provider was not involved in this pilot.
The Pilot was only attended by one payment provider
Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), recently announced it had completed its digital currency trial for central banks (CBDC). Following an eight month test period that began in May 2021, the BOJ claims it has now completed the trial of its central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The BOJ released a statement on the final day of 2021 revealing that the pilot was only attended by one institution. This statement provides more details:
CBDC Pilot was restricted to those wallet providers that indicated willingness to take part within the time frame. National Commercial Bank [NCB]Basing on their previous experience in Sandbox, BOJ brought them aboard to evaluate the potential services that could be provided using the CBDC.
The statement also explains that the success of the pilot project had been “dependent on whether a CBDC along with the attendant technology solution could be successfully implemented in Jamaica.”
CBDCs worth $230 million Minted
According to the statement, three activities took place during the pilot phase. The first of these activities was the minting of $230 million worth of CBDC “to be issued to deposit-taking institutions and authorized payment service providers.” A day after minting the digital currency on August 9, 2021, the BOJ went on to issue $1 million worth of CBDC which was distributed to the bank’s staff.
On October 29, 2021, NCB received $5 million in CBDC. This was the first CBDC that had been issued to any deposit-taking institution within Jamaica. After receiving the digital currency, NCB then “successfully onboarded 57 customers which included 4 small merchants and 53 consumers.”
In turn, the 57 customers went on to conduct person-to-person, cash-in and cash-out transactions via “37 accounts and completed transactions with small merchants (local craft jewellers, footwear designers and fashion and garment boutiques) through an NCB-sponsored event, ‘Market on the Lawn’ held earlier in December 2021.”
In the interim, this statement reveals that national rollout for CBDC is scheduled to start in the first quarter in 2022. During this period, NCB — which is the only authorized payment service provider that participated in the test phase — “will continue onboarding existing customers and new customers.” At the same time, two more wallet providers “will be able to order CBDC from BOJ and distribute to their customers.”
The statement said that testing will also take place to ensure interoperability among transactions made between different customers using various wallet providers.
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