- Citizens having crypto wallets will get a $16 deposit to assist raise knowledge and usage of the Jamaica Digital Exchange, Jamaica’s soon-to-be-released CBDC.
- In order to encourage wider use, the first 100,000 Jamaicans who use the country’s new central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as Jam-Dex, would get a free $16 payout.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness originally revealed the news on Thursday in a Facebook post. Some Facebook users commended Holness for “embracing a digital future,” while others voiced worry about the Jamaican government’s objectives, accusing Holness of attempting to “bribe” individuals into the federal banking system.
Motto “No cash, no problem”
According to the Jamaica Observer, around 17% of Jamaicans are now unbanked. While social media users speculate about the government’s motivations, the Observer notes out that for poorer Jamaicans, being unbanked is both costly and time-consuming. It is intended that, among other things, this new payment incentive would encourage poor and middle-income residents to join the national banking system.
The news comes as the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) finished an eight-month trial program for Jam-Dex on December 31, last year, and a countrywide rollout is expected to begin as soon as next month. The Bank of Jamaica further stated that all Jamaicans who already have bank accounts will be immediately eligible for Jam-Dex digital wallets.
According to a report issued by the Bank of Jamaica on February 17, the new digital currency would be known as the Jamaica Digital Exchange, or Jam-Dex for short, and will have its own logo as well as the motto “No cash, no problem.” The Bank of Japan anticipates that the currency will be available as early as next month.
For both technical and aesthetic grounds, the name Jam-Dex drew a lot of criticism. While the Jam-Dex may be referring to the fact that currencies are “exchanged” and that it is both “digital” and “Jamaican,” the phrase has caused much consternation among many.
Several countries intend to adopt CBDC
Despite the fact that China was among the first to announce the creation of its CBDC, the digital yuan, nations in the Caribbean have swiftly become leaders in the acceptance and distribution of CBDCs. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has distributed DCash, its own CBDC, to eight different member countries.
The adoption of DCash, on the other hand, has been blocked since a meltdown on Jan. 14 knocked the central bank-backed digital currency offline for over two months. It wasn’t until Wednesday that the ECCB stated that DCash was fully operational again, citing an “expiring certificate” on the Hyperledger Fabric, which holds the DCash ledger, as the cause of the failure.
Several other nations are experimenting with CBDC implementation, with the Philippines announcing intentions to establish Project CBDCPh as recently as Tuesday. Iran, Kenya, and the European Union are among the most recent countries to consider legalizing CBDC in some form.
Andrew is a blockchain developer who developed his interest in cryptocurrencies while pursuing his post-graduation major in blockchain development. He is a keen observer of details and shares his passion for writing, along with coding. His backend knowledge about blockchain helps him give a unique perspective to his writing skills, and a reliable craft at explaining the concepts such as blockchain programming, languages and token minting. He also frequently shares technical details and performance indicators of ICOs and IDOs.