The Eastern Carribean Central Bank (ECCB) officially launched DCash – the central bank digital currency (CBDC)

Yesterday, Eastern Central Bank (ECCB) officially launched the central bank digital currency (CBDC) called DCash. This is the digital version of the Eastern Carribean dollar – the official currencies of eight Caribbean countries.

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) launches the 1st union-backed CBDC called DCash

The ECCB is the first currency union to launch a CBDC. A currency union is an agreement between multiple nations to maintain the same currency or to keep currency prices pegged at the same level. The Euro is one such example of this. While the Eastern Carribean Currency Union consists of eight sovereign states, DCash will only be available in four: Saint Lucia, St. Lucia Kitts, and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Grenada.

ECB’s move to digitize financial infrastructure will provide a more efficient and secure alternative to traditional payment systems. ECCB has partnered with fintech provider Bitt to oversee the infrastructure and operations of the brand new digital currency.

In a statement earlier this week, the central bank said:

“We had developed this digital version of the EC currency to increase financial inclusion, competitiveness, and resilience for the people of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.”

ECCB is the first monetary union to launch CBDC. A currency union is an agreement between many countries to either maintain the same currency or keep the price of the currency fixed at the same level. The Euro is one example of this. While the Eastern Carribean Monetary Union is comprised of eight sovereign countries, DCash will only be available in four: Saint Lucia, St. Lucia Kitts, and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Grenada.

Major countries like China and Japan have been experimenting with their own potential cryptocurrencies, but are cautious. China has already implemented pilot programs in the region, most notably distributing 1.5 million yuan of yuan to its people on the occasion of the Chinese New Year. However, as global economies with some of the largest GDP, these countries need to consider the potential effects of a digital currency. China recently proposed a global set of CBDCs and raised concerns about how digital currencies could affect foreign exchange and trade.

Next year, the East Caribbean Central Bank and Bitt will seek to integrate DCash into the alliance’s financial ecosystem – starting with the first four pilot countries.

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