Finance & Economics

Jamaica begins central bank digital currency launch


Jamaica begins central bank digital currency launch. Source:

As the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) prepares to launch a CBDC in the April-June quarter, Jamaican residents can now open digital wallets that support the country’s central bank, the Jam-Dex digital currency, reports.

The National Bank of Commerce of Jamaica is the first institution in the country to add Jam-Dex support to its Lynk digital wallet, and the BOJ is expected to join four other CBDC wallet providers to ensure smooth transactions after completing testing.

The Trinidad and Tobago Guardian reported that BOJ Deputy Governor Natalie Haynes “expects these issues to be fully resolved by the end of April”.

At the same time, Haynes also plans to make the necessary changes to the Bank of Jamaica Act to confirm that the Bank of Jamaica is the sole issuer of the CBDC and make it legal tender in Jamaica.

The news comes after the Jamaican government announced last month that when Jam-Dex goes live, the first 100,000 residents who open a CBDC wallet will receive a direct digital wallet reward of $2,500 (USD16).

According to Lynk’s website, users eligible for government incentives “will see their Jamaican dollar balance and $2,500 Jam-Dex balance in the app in May.”

The BOJ announced plans to test the CBDC in March 2021 and completed the eight-month trial in December.

The Central Bank of the Bahamas rolled out the digital Sand dollar in October 2020, and the Central Bank of the Eastern Caribbean launched DCash in April 2021 in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis.

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