Jamaica CBDC Tracker

CBDC Information

CBDC Status


CBDC Launch


CBDC Model


CBDC Issued


Economic Information

Monetary Base


Cash Issued




Country Information

Freedom Rankings

Cato and Fraser Human Freedom Index:


Freedom House Index:


Reporters Without Borders Freedom Index:


Jamaica is in the launched phase. The Bank of Jamaica launched its CBDC (referred to as JAM-DEX) in 2022. While the CBDC was one of the first to be officially launched, the central bank has struggled to increase adoption and encourage people to use it.

CBDC History and Development

In August 2021, the Bank of Jamaica minted a total of J$230 million ($1.48 million) in CBDC. Bank of Jamaica deputy governor Natalie Haynes said the “issuance and distribution of the CBDC will be fully integrated with the bank’s financial market infrastructure, the JamClear Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS)” and “this consideration and prerequisite that led to BOJ choosing a non-blockchain CBDC option.”

On July 11, 2022, the Bank of Jamaica launched its CBDC. Citizens can access the CBDC through a mobile app available for both Apple and Android devices. Bank of Jamaica deputy governor Natalie Haynes described the process as having “streamlined and simplified” know-your-customer requirements for people without bank accounts while people with bank accounts will be able to automatically create a CBDC account.

By the end of July 2022, it was reported that over 120,000 people and 2,300 merchants had opened CBDC accounts. For reference, Jamaica has a population of 2,827,377 people so roughly 4 percent of the population had adopted the CBDC. However, even this limited adoption should be taken with a grain of salt considering it was partly due to the first 100,000 customers receiving incentive bonuses for opening accounts.

By February 2023, adoption had grown to 190,000 users, or almost 7 percent. In an effort to further spur adoption, the Bank of Jamaica announced in March 2023 that there would be two new incentive programs to reward the first 10,000 merchants who sign up before April and to reward regular CBDC users with loyalty points.

By January 2024, it was reported that around 260,000 people had opened accounts. Commenting on CBDC adoption, Bank of Jamaica governor Richard Byles said, “It was successful to the extent there are people with a wallet to use Jam-Dex, but it was not entirely successful in that many merchants want to use their existing point-of-sale [POS] machines that accept credit and debit cards to handle Jam-Dex and that has caused some delay on onboarding merchants to accept Jam-Dex as a form of payment. They do not want to have to contend with another infrastructure channel.” Given that CBDC proposals often fail to offer unique benefits, it should not be a surprise that merchants have rejected the additional burden.

In February 2024, Bank of Jamaica governor Richard Byles said that the central bank would continue to push forward with its CBDC despite challenges and low adoption. Bank of Jamaica deputy governor Natalie Haynes added that part of the struggle has been maintaining a good customer experience. Merchants do not want to use the CBDC because it requires a separate point of sale terminal.

Human Rights and Civil Liberties Concerns

In Jamaica, there have been reports of issues around the treatment of human rights and civil liberties but most of those issues do not tie directly into the issuance or use of a CBDC. Even then, however, it’s important to recognize that the creation of a CBDC could open the door to risks to financial privacy and financial freedom.

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.