The Jamaican Decentralized Exchange (Jam-DEX), the official name of the Jamaican Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), is set to go live for domestic use later this month, according to Bank of Jamaica Governor Richard Byles.
The emergence of Jam-DEX moved closer to completion after the country’s Senate passed an amendment that will empower the apex bank as the sole issuer of the new legal tender.
Unlike more advanced nations where digital payments have largely dominated, the emergence of JAM-DEX is billed to be well suited for the local economy as it will revamp the cash-dominated business ecosystem. With Jam-DEX, Jamaicans will now have access to transact with a faster and more efficient payment system.
The BoJ has been conducting pilot tests for the CBDC since August 2021, and it has an active partnership with Dublin-based technology firm eCurrency Mint which joined the bank in completing a Sandbox project that birthed the Jam-DEX name for the legal tender.
“Legislators in Jamaica have all now unanimously moved a digital dollar forward in Jamaica. You can use this to settle any debt in Jamaica. It is the medium of exchange. It is the medium of account,” said Jonathan Dharmapalan, the Chief Executive Officer of eCurrency Mint.
According to several sources, more than 100 countries are actively developing CBDCs, including the Atlantic Council’s CBDC tracker. While Jamaica is notably impressing with its CBDC push, the Bahamian Sand Dollar has already made history as the first in the Caribbean and in the entire world to launch a functional CBDC.
However, the Bank of Jamaica is adding a unique twist to its CBDC development, which is embodied in the fact that the new money will not be built using blockchain technology. The bank, however, clarified that it is not refusing to use blockchain for any kind of concerns but rather that it could deploy the CBDC through a payment infrastructure that stakeholders in the industry are already familiar with.
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