Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) rolled out its digital payments system in the Commonwealth of Dominica and the UK overseas territory of Montserrat on December 7th, leaving only Anguilla of the eight countries that plan to implement it.
In March 2021, in cooperation with DCash, the ECCB introduced the “EC-Dollar” -Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) for Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis as well as St. Lucia. In August it was expanded to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
DCash is a payment system that was specially developed for use with the digital EC currency. The wallet app enables holders to make person-to-person purchases and transfers of the CBDC within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
The use of this digital payment system is part of an initiative led by ECCB Governor Timothy NJ Antoine. He said on December 7th that traditional payment systems are too slow and that the digital EC dollar “should work for everyone except illegal actors”.
“All of these goals aim to stimulate economic growth, but ultimately to advance our agenda of socio-economic transformation for the common prosperity of the people of our monetary union.”
The DCash wallet and the CBDC payment system were in development for at least 2 years before they were officially launched in 2021. The pilot project called DXCDCaribe was launched in March 2019. It was the model for the DCash system. XCD is the international ticker for the EC dollar, the fiat currency issued by the ECCB.
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According to atlanticcouncil.org, nine countries around the world now use a CBDC. Seven nations belong to the ECCU, along with the Bahamas and Nigeria. 21 other jurisdictions are either in the pilot or development phase and 40, including the US, are researching the technology.
Only nine countries or jurisdictions are not considering their options with a CBDC in any way, the website said.