The government is not convinced that the digital currency can withstand fraudsters

A depiction of the Bank of Jamaica (CBDC) central bank digital currency, Jam-Dex logo and slogan.

Scammers and other fraudsters will not be able to use central bank digital currency (CBDC) in their illicit activities, the government has promised.

Closing the debate on amendments to the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Act, which will establish the legal framework for the nationwide rollout of digital currency as legal tender, Senate Government Business Leader, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, said the currency can only be used for local transactions, not on international platforms. “It is limited to domestic transactions where we are now – maybe that will change – but the model is now for domestic transactions. The CBDC model is currently not used for international transactions, so it can only circulate what is already there,” explained Johnson Smith. She pointed out that the CBDC is another layer of protection in the fight against money laundering and financial terrorism. necessary to proceed with caution to ensure that people do not use it as a means to commit financial crimes. is used to lead criminal organizations.

“My familiarity with the industry tells me that this includes the use of cryptocurrency, and so we need to be very careful that nothing in this bill makes it easier or easier for these criminal enterprises to elude. subject to scrutiny by law enforcement agencies such as MOCA and FID,” Bunting said, pointing to the recent theft of $18 million from commercial bank customers within days. It really reminds us that as we move in this direction, which we must, we must proceed with caution so that we do not inadvertently end up facilitating access for criminals and their enablers to the illicit proceeds of crime,” said Bunting and gas stations that handle a lot of cash in their day-to-day operations that criminals tend to target.

“To the extent that we can move a lot of that into the digital currency space, I think that will be an advantage in reducing the risk of harm and exposure to violence by legitimate commercial operators. So we support the introduction of central bank digital currency,” he told the Senate. Bunting also stressed the importance for the BOJ to roll out a strong education and awareness campaign, as there are still some skepticism about the use of mobile wallets.

“There is an information vacuum for the average person, and I think we need to break it down and get the information out as much as possible,” he encouraged. A CBDC pilot project was launched by the National Commercial Bank from August to December 2021, an initiative which Johnson Smith says has been successful and indicates that there is significant interest in the model. Amendments to the BOJ Act give approval for the nationwide rollout of the CBDC/Jamaica Digital Exchange (Jam-Dex) beginning this fiscal quarter.

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