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“Jam-Dex”, a central bank digital currency (CBDC), has been recognized as legal tender by Jamaica’s central bank, making it the first country to do so. According to reports, the Jamaican senate has given the central bank permission to issue the Jamaica Digital Exchange, or Jam-Dex, a CBDC. According to Bank of Jamaica Governor Richard Byles, the Jam-Dex will be available for domestic usage later this month. Byles added,

“The digital Jamaican dollar “offers a more secure, convenient alternative to physical notes and coins, and can be used without a bank account,”

New Payment Methods

Jonathan Dharmapalan, CEO of CBDC technology supplier eCurrency, acknowledged the action saying legislators in Jamaica have now unanimously moved a digital dollar ahead in Jamaica. This can be used to pay off any debt in the country. It serves as a means of exchange. It’s the accounting media. He went on to say that countries needed to recognize that their money might be in digital form before adding,

“Because it’s digital, you don’t have to be in the same place simultaneously to execute a transaction… It’s a really, really powerful tool.”

According to the Jamaica Observer, the JMMB Group, a financial services firm, plans to develop several new products, including point-of-sale, e-commerce, and new payment solutions, to help the Jam-Dex gain traction. According to the outlet, the CBDC is also being promoted by the National Commercial Bank (NCB) through its Lynk wallet.

CBDCs – A Global Drive

According to the Atlantic Council’s CBDC tracker, 105 countries representing over 95% of global GDP are currently investigating or establishing a CBDC. It also claims that ten countries, including Nigeria, the Bahamas with its “Sand Dollar,” and other Caribbean island governments, have introduced CBDCs; nonetheless, Jamaica is the first to legalize the Digital Jamaican Dollar as a legal tender. It remains to be seen whether or not other countries in the region would follow suit.

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