Jamaica is on track to roll out a digital currency in 2022

Jamaica is planning to roll out its central bank digital currency (CBDC) this year, according to an announcement from Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Holness tweeted the news yesterday in a thread reiterating the main points of a speech opening the 2022/2023 parliamentary year for the nation. 

"This will serve as a foundation for Jamaica’s digital payments architecture and will facilitate greater financial inclusion, increase transaction velocity while reducing the cost of banking for the Jamaican people," said an additional tweet


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The planned 2022 launch of the digital Jamaican dollar comes after a 2021 pilot, which Holness said was a success.

In December of last year, the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) released the results of the pilot, disclosing it had minted $230 million worth of digital currency on August 9, issued $1 million of the CBDC to wallet providers the following day and two months later issued an additional $5 million in CBDC to a deposit taking institution, the National Commercial Bank. The NCB then onboarded 57 customers that conducted person-to-person transactions, including transactions with small merchants. 

In that 2021 announcement, the BOJ said it planned a national roll-out in Q1 of 2022. 

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Aislinn Keely is a reporter on The Block's policy team holding down the legal beat. She covers court decisions, bankruptcies, regulatory actions and other key moments in the legal sphere, putting them in context for the wider crypto industry. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV and helmed Fordham University's student newspaper. Send tips or thoughts on all things policy and legal to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter for updates @AislinnKeely.