A report from Jamaica’s information service revealed that the nation’s apex bank had completed the 8-month test phase of its national digital currency. The CBDC prototype test, which started in March 2021, was finally brought to an end on December 31, 2021.
The BoJ Partners With Other Service Providers In The Financial Sector
Part of the pilot involved the minting and issuance of Jamaica $235m (approximately US $1.55m) on August 10, 2021. The BoJ issued the minted national digital currency to deposit-receiving financial institutions and licensed payment agents. The apex bank’s staff also received a total of 1m digital JMD during this period.
Three months ago, the biggest bank in Jamaica (the national commercial bank, NCB) also received approximately 5m worth of digital JMD. Jamaica’s information service disclosed that this bank is the only authorized wallet provider for this trial phase.
During this phase, the bank on-boarded five small businesses and 52 customers (making 57 clients). During the bank’s sponsored conference late last year, all the on-boarded clients performed in-person financial transactions live during the event.
Expanding The Test Phase To New Territories
The success of the test phase has given the BoJ the push to expand the trial phase to a larger audience and incorporate another bank to provide wallet-related services. The BoJ has already chosen the wallet service providers and are performing simulation tests right now. Then, they can become the middleman between the BoJ and Jamaican citizens interested in the digital JMD.
The report also remarked that the next phase of the test would involve interoperability operations among various wallet providers. You’d recall that e-Currency mint provides technical support for Jamaica’s e-JMD. The Ireland-based crypto security company also offers technical support for developing Senegal’s national digital currency. e-Currency Mint was chosen from other crypto security firms that sent in proposals for the e-JMD one-and-a-half years ago.
The Race To Own A National Digital Currency
It now seems like a race among various nations to see who is the first to launch the e-version of their currencies. Two days ago, Mexico’s apex bank announced that it already has a plan in place to launch the e-peso within the next two years.
The apex bank’s deputy governor confirmed the news saying, “we are not just working on it; we have a schedule for it to be fully operational before 2024 is over.” Mexican authorities are yet to ban the use of cryptos for payment settlements. Hence, it was no surprise that Elektra (the most popular supermarket in Mexico) chose to allow crypto payments in its stores nationwide last month.
China remains the country that is closest to launching its e-currency. It has conducted several trial phases and would also test it on the international front during next year’s Olympic games, which Beijing is hosting. A few weeks ago, another Asian nation (Indonesia) announced that it is in the research phase of developing its national digital currency. Their premise was that e-currency is more reliable than any private digital currency.