The Central Bank of the Eastern Caribbean, the main financial institution of the Eastern Caribbean Monetary Union, has launched DCash.
ECCB announced the launch of the CBDC for the region at its media event on Wednesday.
DCash is the digital version of the East Caribbean dollar, the official currency of the eight countries of the union.
However, as announced at launch, DCash is only available in four monetary union member countries: Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Lucia.
Wednesday’s launch marks the culmination of a two-year development project when ECCB first announced plans for CBDC in March 2019.
As part of the launch, ECCB Governor Timothy Antoine completed the first direct cross-border transaction from DCash. Gov. Antoine reportedly sent $ 100 from ECCB headquarters in Saint Kitts to DCash wallets in three other participating countries.
It is said that using the Bitt CBDC administrative protocols, ECCB can mount and issue DCash. ECCB will also be able to recover and record DCash CBDC.
As part of the proposal, ECCB says DCash will support commercial and private transactions with suppliers and merchants who subscribe to the DCash Merchant app. Users will also be able to convert DCash for Monetary Union citizens.
During Wednesday’s launch, the governor of ECCB commented on the central bank’s decision to partner with Bitt for the CBDC project and added:
“ECCB chose to partner with Bitt because of the company’s shared values of empowering citizens through economic integration, respect and understanding of the unique needs of emerging economies. The past two years have been an intense path of collaboration, and Bitt and ECCB have learned many lessons that can be carried forward in the process. “.
For Bitt Brian Popelk, CEO of Bitt, DCash is a “game changer” for the currency union, adding that the CBDC is engineered to provide interoperability with cryptocurrencies around the world.
Following the public launch, ECCB and Bitt say the next step will be to work to fully integrate DCash into the financial infrastructure of the four countries participating in the first launch by next year.
In addition, both partners also want to expand DCash to the four remaining monetary union countries: Montserrat, Commonwealth of Dominica, Anguilla and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
In other news related to central bank currencies in the Caribbean, the Central Bank of Jamaica recently partnered with Irish tech company eCurrency Mint to develop its superior digital currency.