Jamaica’s central bank taps Irish tech outfit for CBDC project

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Jamaica is the latest country making concrete efforts towards issuing its own sovereign digital currency.

According to a press release by the Bank of Jamaica on Tuesday, eCurrency Mint, a cryptography security company specializing in central bank digital currency issuance has been selected as the technology provider for the sovereign digital currency project.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Jamaica’s central bank invited technology solution providers to submit applications for its CBDC project back in July 2020. At the time, the BoJ clarified that its planned sovereign digital currency would not be based on crypto technology.

Based in Ireland, eCurrency Mint is reportedly working with central banks and other international finance organizations to develop protocols for CBDC design and implementation.

As part of the announcement, Jamaica’s central bank revealed that the CBDC pilot will commence in May under the aegis of the BoJ’s Fintech Regulatory Sandbox. ECurrency Mint will support the central bank in testing protocols during the pilot stage scheduled to be completed by December.

The Ireland-based tech outfit will also serve as Jamaica’s CBDC provider when the full national roll-out commences in early 2022. According to previous statements by the BoJ, the CBDC will be available for both individuals and businesses as a payment means similar to cash.

Like many countries in the Caribbean, Jamaica has somewhat liberal crypto and blockchain laws with regulated entities like the nation’s Stock Exchange participating in cryptocurrency trading.

The BoJ is one of the Caribbean central banks currently working on CBDCs. Back in October 2020, The Bahamas became one of the first countries to officially launch a sovereign digital currency.

Regional CBDC efforts are also ongoing with the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union working on a blockchain-based sovereign digital currency project.

Outside the Caribbean, Asia’s largest economies are accelerating their CBDC development projects. Multiple banks in China have issued digital wallets for the country’s digital currency electronic payment project.

In Japan, the central bank is leading a public-private partnership to examine proof-of-concept protocols for a possible digital yen. Earlier in March, Kuroda Haruhiko, governor of the Bank of Japan, said that the country must work out modalities for issuing a CBDC.