The Bank of Jamaica has announced the release of the first tranche of the central bank's digital currency (CBDC) as part of a pilot test.
The regulator will issue a total of J$230 million in CBDC form to depository institutions and authorised payment service providers during the test, which will conclude in December.
The digital currency project team demonstrated its issuance process in a small ceremony attended by central bank governor Richard Biles, Finance Minister Nigel Clark and the leadership of technology provider eCurrency Mint.
Speaking at the event, Clarke stressed the importance of the project in the context of the digital economy. He also promised that CBDC-related legislative amendments will be passed before the end of the current fiscal year.
Richard Biles said the next significant milestone will be to ensure that citizens have widespread access to digital currency.
eCurrency CEO Jonathan Dharmapalan said the Bank of Jamaica development team has done a tremendous amount of work in a short time. He said the country is implementing the world's fastest national digital currency project.
Deputy Governor of the central bank, Natalie Haynes, said the institution has completed the process of evaluating proposals in the previously announced competition for the best name, logo, slogan and visual identity for the CBDC. The winners will be named shortly, she added.
Earlier, Nigel Clarke said the full launch of the national digital currency will take place in 2022.