Antigua and Barbuda CBDC Tracker

CBDC Information

CBDC Status


CBDC Launch


CBDC Model


CBDC Issued


Economic Information

Monetary Base


Cash Issued




Freedom Rankings

Cato and Fraser Human Freedom Index:


Freedom House Index:


Reporters Without Borders Freedom Index:


The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank launched its CBDC, referred to as DCash, in 2021. In 2023, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank governor Timothy Antoine said, “DCash is now in all eight member countries. With the onboarding of our marketing partner and exciting campaigns ahead, we expect DCash to become a household name in our Currency Union.”

Consumers can access the CBDC through the DCash Wallet mobile app. The CBDC was built by the company Bitt Inc. to run on Hyperledger Fabric and consumers can load money into their wallets by trading in cash at approved locations or by converting money from a bank account.

However, in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, most of the reviews express frustration—particularly over waiting months for accounts to be verified. Customers were also frustrated when the CBDC experienced an outage for two months in 2022. This outage meant that consumer funds were effectively frozen in place with little more than the central bank’s word that the money would eventually be available again. It was ultimately found that the CBDC outage was caused by an expired certification.

In late 2023, the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union announced that it was looking for a new contractor to redevelop its CBDC.

Antigua and Barbuda is a country with relatively few human rights concerns, according to most major reports. However, there are two concerns that should not be overlooked when considering the risks posed by CBDCs: government corruption and discrimination. Before diving into those risks, it must be said that the ability to abuse a CBDC directly is debatable because the CBDC used in Antigua and Barbuda is provided by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank—representing the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.

Government corruption remains a concern in Antigua and Barbuda despite efforts to establish more formal safeguards. For example, there are criminal penalties that can be applied to corrupt officials, but Freedom House reports that the “laws are enforced unevenly.” The existence of pervasive corruption is a major concern with CBDCs because it calls into question any promises that might be made by the government to limit surveillance, control, or other risks of CBDCs. Furthermore, the existence of corruption calls into question whether CBDC policies might be designed to exert political favoritism through subsidies, price controls, or other targeted restrictions.

Discrimination is another point of concern: specifically, with respect to the LGBTQ+ community. It was only in 2022 that laws against anal sex were determined to be unconstitutional in Antigua and Barbuda. As Human Rights Watch explained, “While laws criminalizing LGBT intimacy in the Caribbean are rarely enforced, they are broad in scope, are vaguely worded, and serve to legitimize bias and hostility toward LGBT people.” Unfortunately, CBDCs are particularly concerning with this issue because they could be used to identify and surveil members of the LGBTQ+ community.

For additional information on concerns regarding violations of human rights and civil liberties, see the following reports by Amnesty International, Financial Tyranny Index, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, and the U.S. Department of State. For additional information on concerns regarding the risks of CBDCs, see the following webpage and report by the Cato Institute: The Risks of CBDCs and Central Bank Digital Currency: Assessing the Risks and Dispelling the Myths.

For additional information regarding metrics, the methodology page explains each of the data points and provides their respective sources.