Jamaican taxi drivers bullish on accepting Jam-Dex CBDC

Bus and taxi operators in Jamaica are eager to use the country’s in-house central bank digital currency (CBDC)Jam-Dex — as locals seek operational efficiencies and reduced costs and security risks.

The Central Bank of Jamacia launched Jam-Dex, short for Jamaican Digital Exchange, in 2022, which was supported by an airdrop event to expedite its widespread adoption. More recently, Aldo Antonio, co-founder and acting executive chairman of the National Transporters Alliance Group (NTAG), revealed his efforts to spread Jam-Dex adoption among the transport community.

According to a local report from the Jamaica Observer, Antonio sees a lower curiosity in CBDCs among bus and taxi drivers — primarily due to a sluggish adoption rate among vendors and consumers. Regardless, Antonio remains optimistic:

“I see Jam-Dex as something that would be significantly transformative for the public transportation sector and needs to be embraced.”

In order to make Jam-Dex feasible, Antonio believes Jamaica needs more customers willing to use the CBDC. Failure to attract customers will discourage merchants and eventually result in the total abandonment of digital currency.

According to Antonio, food and transportation are the two main verticals that can increase the day-to-day Jam-Dex usage. He added:

“If we can get them [Jamaicans] moving and paying for transportation using Jam-Dex on a daily basis, it increases the rate at which we can get the digital currency into people’s hands.”

Moreover, CBDC’s widespread adoption eradicates the drivers’ concerns related to carrying cash or giving back the exact change. Jamaica is currently working toward enabling the CBDC services on mobile phones of the general public. “With that happening and training happening, then the sector could be in a position by January, if not before, to be able to accept Jam-Dex-type payments,” Antonio concluded.

An estimated 25,000–30,000 transport owners reside in Jamaica, who can help expand Jam-Dex’s reach beyond the existing 10,000 vendors with 200,000 people who use the CBDC through the digital wallet Lynk.

Related: Crypto Twitter is not happy with the name and logo of Jamaica’s CBDC

While Jamaica aims to bank on taxi drivers to expedite its CBDC adoption, Japanese auto-maker Nissan ramped up its Web3 efforts.

In Q1 2023, Nissan filed four new Web3-related trademarks in the United States. In addition, its Japan unit is experimenting with auto sales in the metaverse. The filings to the United States Patent and Trademark Office reveal Nissan’s plans to create virtual clothes, cars, headgear, trading cards, toys, tickets and a nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace for trading and minting NFTs.

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