The Bank of Jamaica is planning to pilot its delayed central bank digital currency (CBDC) across financial institutions in August, according to a Jamaica Observer report.
Speaking at a Rotary Club conference last week, Bank of Jamaica Governor Richard Byles said there are plans to expand the trial between September and December and then gradually move toward a full-fledged launch.
According to Byles, financial institutions will exchange CBDC with businesses and individuals at a rate of J$1 (0.07 U.S. cent) in cash to 1 CBDC.
“We’re currently looking at all the technical sides of the system and we have a sandbox in the bank that we have the whole infrastructure in,” Byles said. ”As we work through the technical minting [redeeming] of the currency, we have to test it rigorously as a pilot and that we’ll do in August.”
The bank had originally planned to begin the pilot in May, but was delayed for unspecified reasons.
The central bank is working with Ireland-based technology firm eCurrency Mint to support the rollout.
As reported earlier, the government of Jamaica views the accelerated transition to a digital society and economy as vital to economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.