The Bank of Jamaica, BOJ, is formally inviting providers to develop and test potential central bank digital currency, CBDC, solutions in its recently established Fintech Regulatory Sandbox.

In a statement, over the weekend the Central Bank says the Sandbox provides a controlled environment where technological, financial innovations such as CBDC can be tested for viability while ensuring adequate consumer protection and data privacy before any introduction to the Jamaican economy.

CBDC is a digital form of central bank-issued currency and therefore is legal tender.

The Central Bank says it’s not to be confused with cryptocurrency, which is privately issued, generally not backed by a central authority and does not perform all the essential functions of money.

As legal tender, CBDC is fiat currency, which means it can be exchanged dollar for dollar with physical cash.

Households and businesses will be able to use CBDC to make payments and store value as now obtains with cash.

The Central Bank says if a viable solution is adopted and introduced, the anticipated benefits of CBDC for Jamaican citizens, businesses and the Government are broad and far-reaching.

These include increased financial inclusion and improved cash management processes and costs.

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EU talks aimed at reaching an agreement on a huge post-coronavirus recovery fund have stretched into a fourth day.

The main division is between countries hit hardest by the virus – such as Italy and Spain – and some EU members seeking to limit the size of the fund and stricter controls on its use.

They argue the proposed 750 billion euro package is too large and should be repayable loans, rather than grants.

The talks are reported to have been testy, with tempers flaring at times.

In the early hours of Monday morning, French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly banged his hand on the table and threatened to walk out of the discussions.

And Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has admitted leaders were “close to failure” and talks could still “fall apart”.

Discussions are due to resume later today for what is now the longest EU summit since Nice [NEICE] 2000, when talks lasted five days.

President of the European Council Charles Michel reminded the leaders that more than 600,000 people had died of the virus worldwide, and he hoped that the “headline tomorrow is that the EU has accomplished mission impossible”.

On Monday morning, the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus was almost 14.5 million globally.

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IN FOREIGN EXCHANGE TRADING…

The Jamaican dollar lost 29-cents against the US to open trading this morning selling at an average 146-dollars 70-cents.

The local currency gained 24-cents against the Canadian, to open today at 107-dollars 58-cents.

And, the J dollar also gained 2-dollars 10-cents against the British pound to open at 181-dollars 73-cents.

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