Tue | May 30, 2023

Bank of Jamaica should test CBDC before roll-out

Published:Tuesday | August 31, 2021 | 12:05 AM


There is simply too much at stake for the Bank of Jamaica not to have an independent back-test of the e-currency claim that its security software is superior to blockchain technology.

The potential systemic harm to the economy could be at stake if the security of private information, data and funds are not air tight.

There was a reason why The Bahamas and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States went with blockchain technology. Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Governor Dr Timothy Antoine did stress at the launch of DCash on March 21 this year that the digital currency would be faster, cheaper and safer. Safer, as in more secure than other technologies.

President of the Caribbean Blockchain Alliance Stefen Deleveaux has described claims that the Bank of Jamaica security software solution is more robust than blockchain as “false”.

I asked in letters to the editor to The Gleaner a couple months ago, why was blockchain not chosen. The response was indirect and lacked substance. Blockchain technology has stood the test of recent time since the first blockchain was created in 2009.

“Blockchain enables data to be recorded in a secure digital format by providing real-time information on transactions between different parties, be they corporations supplier networks, investment pools or an international supply chain,” cites a report by the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean.

It is also unclear why remittances are not accommodated when the Jamaican poor depend so heavily on money from abroad. A technology-neutral approach by the Bank of Jamaica rather than a policy that favours one technology over another other would greatly assist the unbanked and most vulnerable of society.

An independent back-testing of the Bank of Jamaica’s CBDC (central bank-issued currency) security is basic, before disastrous consequences occur. The Caribbean Blockchain Alliance is a registered non-governmental organisation with access to high-quality regional blockchain expertise.


St James