Bank of Jamaica set to launch digital currency named Jam-Dex

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The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has disclosed that it has chosen the name, JAMAICA DIGITAL EXCHANGE – JAM-DEX, tagline, “No cash, no problem!” and logo for its digital currency, which will be launched later this year.

The choices for branding of the digital currency followed a public competition the bank organised, whose panel of judges included Natalie Haynes, BOJ Deputy Governor in charge of Banking, Currency, and Financial Markets Infrastructure. Other members of the panel were BOJ Communications Director, Tony Morrison; BOJ Senior Graphic Artist, Tashna Bulli; Project Director in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport (and former BOJ employee) and others.

.As winners, Ashley Payne, who suggested the tagline, took home J$600,000 ($3,862) and J$50,000 in CBDC while Gerrard Harvey, who came up with the logo, walked away with the prizes of J$350,000 ($2200) in regular currency and J$25,000 in CBDC.

The BOJ recently concluded an eight-month pilot of its central bank digital currency at the end of 2021. The bank minted 230 million Jamaican dollars (or $1.5 million) in digital currency to be issued to deposit-taking institutions and authorised payment service providers in early August, then issued 1 million JMD ($6,500) in CBDC to staffers. In October, the bank issued 5 million JMD ($32,000) worth of CBDC to the National Commercial Bank (NCB), one of the ​​island’s largest financial institutions.

According to Natalie Haynes, a deputy governor with the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) for banking and currency operations and financial markets infrastructure, the BOJ aims to replace 5% of Jamaican dollars with digital currency each year. The bank says NCB has signed up 57 customers to use the CBDC.

The majority of Jamaicans are financially excluded. To get those persons into the formal financial system, we decided that the central bank digital currency would be a good opportunity.”

Natalie Haynes, BOJ deputy governor

Read also: eNaira completes 12,500 transactions worth ₦46.3m in 2 weeks after launch

Go deeper

The global financial system is moving closer to a cashless future, where physical money will be replaced with digital currencies such as cryptocurrency.

In response to the global rise of digital payment solutions, central banks around the world are working towards creating their own central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which are representations of central bank-issued money that can be built on a blockchain or distributed ledger.

Nigeria launched her version of digital currency, eNaira in October 2021, becoming one of the first countries in the world to introduce a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Other African countries such as Kenya and South Africa have also made efforts towards officially launching their CBDCs.

The launch of Jamaica’s digital currency comes in the wake of a joint effort by a number of Eastern Caribbean nations to launch a digital currency called DCash. The Bahamas was the first nation in the region to issue a digital currency. Known as the Sand Dollar, this CBDC has been in circulation since 2020.

Globally, central banks have attacked crypto assets, but are in support of a CBDC, which is thought to be more stable and affords them a measure of control.


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