Jamaica pilot test digital currency the central bank’s (CBDC) in December before a full launch in 2022, said Finance Minister Nigel Clarke.
Speaking to parliament during the annual national budget debate, Clarke noted that the government sees an accelerated transition to a digital society vital to the post-pandemic economic recovery. CBDC could expand access to financial services to unbanked Caribbean residents, he added.
Addressing the head of the House of Representatives, the minister said:
“So the policy of this government, Madam Speaker, is to introduce a central bank digital currency.”
He stressed that the CBDC issued and backed by Jamaica’s central bank is not a cryptocurrency. It will be legal tender, interchangeable with the Jamaican dollar in a 1: 1 ratio.
As a reminder, another Caribbean state, the Bahamas, launched the CBDC in October 2020. The Bahamas Central Bank plans to expand the use of the Sand Dollar outside the country.
In February, Mastercard issued a Sand Dollar-enabled debit card .