Jamaican central bank leaves Jam-Dex CBDC to early adopters

The first 100,000 Jamaican citizens to use the central bank’s new digital currency (CBDC), known as Jam-Dex, will be given a free $16 payment in hopes of fostering widespread adoption.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness first announced the news in a Facebook post on Thursday. The post received mixed reactions, as some Facebook users praised Holness for “embracing a digital future,” while others expressed concern about the Jamaican government’s rationale, accusing Holness of trying to trick citizens into the federal banking system. “bribe”.

According to according to the Jamaica Observer, approximately 17% of the Jamaican population currently does not have a bank account. While social media users postulate about the government’s motives, The Observer points out that for poorer Jamaicans it is both costly and time-consuming to go without a bank account. It is hoped that this new payment incentive, among others otherswill encourage low- and middle-income citizens to join the national banking system.

The announcement comes as the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) officially completed its 8-month pilot program for Jam-Dex on December 31 last year and is expected to complete its national rollout next month. The BoJ further outlined that all Jamaicans with pre-existing bank accounts are automatically eligible for Jam-Dex digital wallets.

Jamaican Finance Minister Nigel Clarke said in a… speech to the country’s House of Representatives on March 9 that Jam-Dex must achieve widespread adoption by citizens and their businesses to be successful.

According to the report Provided by the BoJ on Feb. 17, the new digital currency will be called Jamaica Digital Exchange or Jam-Dex for short, and will come with its own logo and the following tagline, “no cash, no problem”. The BoJ expects the coin to be launched next month.

The name “Jam-Dex” has been criticized for both technical and aesthetic reasons. While the Jam-Dex may refer to the fact that currencies are “exchanged” and that it is both “digital” and “Jamaican”, the terminology has caused a lot of confusion.

Users on Twitter were quick to point out the obvious misnomer in the currency’s namesake, as Jam-Dex is simply a digital currency, while “DEX” in crypto language refers to a decentralized exchange, a place where cryptocurrencies are bought. and sold.

Despite China being one of the first countries to announce the development of its CBDC, the “digital yuan”, countries in the Caribbean have quickly become leaders in the adoption and diffusion of CBDCs – with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) now has rolled out its own CBDC, DCash to eight different member states.

Related: CBDCs Won’t Affect Private Stablecoin Market, Says Tether CTO

However, DCash adoption has stalled after a crash on January 14 that saw the central bank-backed digital currency go offline for nearly 2 months. It was not until March 9 that the ECCB announced that DCash was fully functional again, stating the reason for the crash was an “expired certificate” on the Hyperledger fabric which hosts the DCash ledger.

Numerous other countries around the world are beginning to experiment with the implementation of CBDCs, with the Philippines announcing plans to launch Project CBDCPh only on March 8. Iran, Kenya and the European Union are also among the most recent countries to start the search. when introducing a form of CBDC.

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