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Digital Wallets Will Facilitate Seamless Acquisition of JAM-DEX

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Persons using special payment wallets to acquire Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) locally, are being assured that the process is easy.

Digital payment wallets are the platforms being used for transactions involving the Bank of Jamaica’s (BOJ) CBDC – ‘JAM-DEX’.

National Commercial Bank (NCB) has facilitated the provision of the sole digital wallet introduced so far – Lynk.

Chief Product Officer for Lynk, John Matthew Sinclair, told JIS News that switching from cash to digital currency is instant, noting that there are multiple ways to fund the wallet.

“For the banked customers, you can add your debit or credit card to the wallet and, from there, you can move funds from those instruments into the wallet. If you’re an NCB customer with an online bank account, you can also add [that] to Lynk and you can then move money between Lynk and your bank account seamlessly and immediately,” he informed.

Mr. Sinclair said once persons have funds in their wallets, they can acquire CBDC by going to exchange to swap those funds for JAM-DEX.

“If you do have JAM-DEX, you can [also] go to the same exchange, reverse it and move from JAM-DEX to digital cash almost instantly,” he further outlined.

Mr. Sinclair advised that there are plans to have a link with the ABM network through Lynk’s partnership with NCB.

“This is very big for the unbanked. Without having a bank account, you can go to an NCB ABM where you see a Lynk sign and be able to cash in and cash out. Just by utilising the phone and scanning a QR code, you can give the instructions for what you want and, for this, you don’t need a bank account or a card,” he further indicated.

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Exploring the Path to Enhanced Transportation Efficiency in Jamaica

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Jamaica stands at a critical juncture in transforming its transportation sector to achieve both economic resilience and sustainable development. Reflecting on the broader goals within the realms of energy efficiency and sustainability, it becomes imperative to examine the factors influencing Jamaica’s transportation efficiency. As an island nation with a high dependency on imported fossil fuels, Jamaica faces unique challenges that directly impact its transportation sector’s efficiency and sustainability.

External Economic Vulnerabilities

Being economically vulnerable to external factors, such as fluctuations in global energy prices, significantly influences Jamaica’s transportation sector. This vulnerability stems from an over-reliance on imported oil, making the cost of transportation susceptible to global oil market dynamics. Such dependencies not only increase the operational costs of transportation but also hinder efforts towards achieving efficiency and sustainability.

The volatility of oil prices directly impacts the operating costs for both public and private transportation modes, translating into higher fares for commuters and increased expenses for goods transportation. This scenario underscores the urgent need for Jamaica to diversify its energy sources and reduce dependency on imported oil.

Integrating renewable energy sources into the transportation sector could serve as a viable mitigative strategy. Utilizing Jamaica’s abundant renewable resources, such as solar and wind, could significantly reduce the dependency on fossil fuels, thereby insulating the transportation sector from external economic shocks and contributing to enhanced efficiency.

However, transitioning to renewable energy-powered transportation systems involves overcoming a range of structural, economic, and technical challenges. Investments in infrastructure, public awareness, and regulatory frameworks are essential to facilitate this transition.

Societal Consumption Patterns

Jamaica’s high consumption society profoundly impacts transportation efficiency. Choices in vehicular purchases, for instance, are seldom made with energy efficiency in mind. This inclination towards high-consumption models contributes to greater fuel use and increased greenhouse gas emissions, further straining the push towards transportation efficiency.

Addressing societal consumption patterns requires a shift in public perception and behavior towards transportation. Encouraging the adoption of energy-efficient vehicles through incentives and awareness campaigns could play a significant role in this regard. Additionally, promoting public transportation and non-motorized transport modes as viable and efficient alternatives could also help reduce the transportation sector’s overall energy footprint.

Furthermore, enhancing public awareness about the interconnectedness of lifestyle choices, energy consumption, and environmental impact is crucial. Education and outreach initiatives that highlight the benefits of energy-efficient transportation choices could foster a societal shift towards sustainability.

The Government of Jamaica’s role in championing energy efficiency via policy interventions, such as the National Energy Policy and the Vision 2030 Jamaica Plan, plays a pivotal role in steering society towards more sustainable consumption patterns. Regulatory instruments, alongside targets and incentives for energy efficiency, can provide a balanced mix of push and pull factors to drive efficiency improvements across the transportation sector.

Infrastructure and Technology

Infrastructure and technology advancements are pivotal for enhancing Jamaica’s transportation efficiency. The existing transportation infrastructure often does not support optimal energy use or facilitate the deployment of modern, energy-efficient technologies.

Investing in infrastructure modernization and maintenance can significantly reduce energy consumption in the transportation sector. Improvements in road quality, for example, can decrease fuel consumption by reducing vehicle wear and tear and travel times.

Adopting advanced transportation technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs) and implementing smart traffic management systems can also contribute to efficiency. However, such technological transitions require supportive infrastructure, including EV charging stations and integrated traffic management systems.

In conclusion, a multi-faceted approach encompassing policy interventions, societal shifts, and infrastructure and technological upgrades is essential for improving transportation efficiency in Jamaica. Addressing these key factors will not only contribute to reducing Jamaica’s carbon footprint but also pave the way towards a more resilient and sustainable transportation sector.

  • Economic vulnerabilities due to reliance on imported oil significantly impact transportation costs and efficiency.
  • Societal consumption patterns and preferences towards high-consumption vehicles impede efforts towards transportation efficiency.
  • Investments in infrastructure and technology are crucial for enabling the adoption of energy-efficient transportation solutions.
  • Government policy and regulatory frameworks play a pivotal role in driving the transition towards more efficient and sustainable transportation systems.

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Entrepreneurship

Businessuite Top Caribbean Entrepreneurial Success Stories

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The Caribbean, known for its idyllic beaches and vibrant cultures, is also a breeding ground for some of the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs. From fintech visionaries to ecommerce pioneers, these individuals have taken their diverse backgrounds and turned them into global success stories.

Let’s dive into the tales of ambition, resilience, and success that characterize the entrepreneurial spirit of the Caribbean.

Martin Hanna – Penny Pinch Inc.
Martin Hanna is a testament to the fintech revolution brewing in the Caribbean. As the CEO and Founder of Penny Pinch Inc., Hanna has redefined what it means to provide value through technology. His company caters to a growing demand for digital financial solutions, demonstrating the vast potential of fintech outside traditional tech hubs. Hanna’s success story is not just about innovation; it’s about understanding and meeting the unique needs of his market.

In a region where access to financial services can be limited, Penny Pinch Inc. stands as a beacon of hope. By focusing on user-friendly products, Hanna has ensured that technology serves as a tool for empowerment. His approach blends local insights with global trends, making Penny Pinch a standout example of how fintech can bridge gaps in the financial landscape.

Hanna’s journey is notable for its focus on sustainable growth and community impact. He believes in leveraging technology to create a more inclusive economy, a vision that has earned him respect and admiration both within and beyond the Caribbean. As Penny Pinch continues to expand, Hanna’s leadership reflects a commitment to innovation that serves all.

 

Nicholas A. Rees – Kanoo Pays
Nicholas A. Rees, a former Olympian turned FinTech visionary, stands at the helm of Kanoo Pays. His remarkable transition from sports to business captures the essence of adaptability and determination. As the Chairman and Co-founder, Rees has steered Kanoo Pays to become a pioneering licensed Payment Institution in the Caribbean.

Under his guidance, Kanoo Pays serves as a platform for financial inclusion, connecting individuals and businesses across the region. Rees’s approach combines a deep understanding of finance with a passion for technology, making banking more accessible and empowering for Caribbean communities.

Rees’s background as a Chartered Certified Accountant, coupled with his MBA from the University of Miami, provides a solid foundation for his entrepreneurial ventures. His vision for Kanoo Pays includes not just financial success but also a significant impact on society, highlighting the role of businesses in driving social change.

His story is a reminder that entrepreneurship can emerge from any backdrop. Rees leverages his diverse experiences to build a company that not only profits but profoundly impacts lives. Kanoo Pays exemplifies how innovative business models can transform the financial landscape in the Caribbean and beyond.

 

Elevating Ecommerce: Kadion Preston and Caribshopper
Kadion Preston, co-founder and CEO of Caribshopper, has carved a niche in the booming ecommerce sector. Through Caribshopper, Preston facilitates global sales for Caribbean merchants, enabling them to reach audiences far beyond their geographical confines. This venture not only showcases the rich diversity of Caribbean products but also boosts local economies by opening new markets.

Preston’s tech background, combined with a keen business acumen, has allowed him to navigate the complex challenges of ecommerce. His platform stands as a testament to the power of digital transformation to foster economic growth and regional integration.

With Caribshopper, Preston has built a bridge connecting Caribbean creativity and craftsmanship with the world. His work has not only elevated the profiles of local artisans and businesses but also inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs in the region to look beyond traditional markets.

Preston’s entrepreneurial journey is a masterclass in harnessing technology for social and economic development. By leveraging ecommerce, he has created opportunities for growth and innovation that transcend geographical limitations, making him a pivotal figure in the Caribbean’s entrepreneurial landscape.

Conclusion
The stories of Martin Hanna, Nicholas A. Rees, and Kadion Preston highlight just a sliver of the entrepreneurial talent flourishing in the Caribbean. These individuals exemplify the region’s capacity for innovation, resilience, and global impact. Their ventures have not only transformed their respective industries but also offered valuable lessons:

Adaptability and resilience are key to overcoming challenges. Innovation should be driven by a desire to meet the specific needs of one’s community. Entrepreneurship can be a powerful tool for economic and social empowerment. Global success is achievable, regardless of one’s geographical starting point. As the Caribbean continues to make its mark on the global stage, these entrepreneurs serve as beacons of hope and inspiration, showing that with vision, hard work, and a commitment to impact, anything is possible.

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Entrepreneurship

Development Bank of Jamaica Re-Opens Innovation Grant Application Window

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The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), through its Boosting Innovation Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE), is pleased to announce that the Application Window for its Innovation Grant Fund (IGF) is now open, effective January 2, 2024. The Application Window will remain open for six (6) weeks, until February 13, 2024.

The Innovation Grant Fund (IGF) is an opportunity for medium-sized Jamaican companies with new and innovative products and service to access grant funding in the amount of Twenty million Jamaican Dollars (J$20 million).

Christopher Brown, Programme Manager, BIGEE states; “The DBJ is delighted at the projects we have funded in the last three iteration, since we began in 2020. To date we have awarded grants to twelve (12) medium-sized Jamaican companies representing an investment by the Bank of J$190 million. The majority of the projects have been successfully completed and the remaining are now in the Close Out phase; all of which has recorded growth and on an upward trajectory.”

Lu’ Shana Cheddesingh, Technical Coordinator under whose portfolio the Innovation Grant Fund falls explains “For this the fourth cohort of the IGF, we will be utilising the funding received from the European Union (EU) and so strong focus of the incoming cohort will be placed on two main areas – Women-led and/owned businesses, and Climate Mitigation projects. We will continue to fund projects from Jamaica’s productive sectors”. Continuing Ms. Cheddesingh stressed that, “Application process is via our website at www.thinkbigee.com.“

The DBJ is encouraging medium-sized Jamaican companies with innovative products and or services that are new and revolutionary to apply.

BIGEE – Boosting Innovation Growth & Entrepreneurship Ecosystem – is the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) five-year project valued at US$25 million and financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is the Executing Agency. The Agreement was executed between the GOJ and the IDB late 2019; however, there were unforeseen delays in the launch due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The objective of BIGEE is to promote sustainable and robust growth among start-ups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Jamaica. In 2021 based on the performance of the programme, the European Union (EU) awarded a non-reimbursable grant of US$8.2 million to support the initiative.

The DBJ, a wholly owned institution of the GOJ has assumed a catalytic role for initiatives that have significantly impacted MSME development over the years; this makes the institution a good fit to successfully implement the GOJ’s and IDB’s vision for the programme.

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Businessuite News24 International

Sam Altman returns as CEO, OpenAI has a new initial board

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Mira Murati as CTO, Greg Brockman returns as President. Read messages from CEO Sam Altman and board chair Bret Taylor.

Message from Sam to the company

I am returning to OpenAI as CEO. Mira will return to her role as CTO. The new initial board will consist of Bret Taylor (Chair), Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo.

I have never been more excited about the future. I am extremely grateful for everyone’s hard work in an unclear and unprecedented situation, and I believe our resilience and spirit set us apart in the industry. I feel so, so good about our probability of success for achieving our mission.

Before getting to what comes next, I’d like to share some thanks.

I love and respect Ilya, I think he’s a guiding light of the field and a gem of a human being. I harbor zero ill will towards him. While Ilya will no longer serve on the board, we hope to continue our working relationship and are discussing how he can continue his work at OpenAI.

I am grateful to Adam, Tasha, and Helen for working with us to come to this solution that best serves the mission. I’m excited to continue to work with Adam and am sincerely thankful to Helen and Tasha for investing a huge amount of effort in this process.

Thank you also to Emmett who had a key and constructive role in helping us reach this outcome. Emmett’s dedication to AI safety and balancing stakeholders’ interests was clear.

Mira did an amazing job throughout all of this, serving the mission, the team, and the company selflessly throughout. She is an incredible leader and OpenAI would not be OpenAI without her. Thank you.

Greg and I are partners in running this company. We have never quite figured out how to communicate that on the org chart, but we will. In the meantime, I just wanted to make it clear. Thank you for everything you have done since the very beginning, and for how you handled things from the moment this started and over the last week.

The leadership team–Mira, Brad, Jason, Che, Hannah, Diane, Anna, Bob, Srinivas, Matt, Lilian, Miles, Jan, Wojciech, John, Jonathan, Pat, and many more–is clearly ready to run the company without me. They say one way to evaluate a CEO is how you pick and train your potential successors; on that metric I am doing far better than I realized. It’s clear to me that the company is in great hands, and I hope this is abundantly clear to everyone. Thank you all.

Jakub, Szymon, and Aleksander are exceptional talents and I’m so happy they have rejoined to move us and our research forward. Thank you.

To all of you, our team: I am sure books are going to be written about this time period, and I hope the first thing they say is how amazing the entire team has been. Now that we’re through all of this, we didn’t lose a single employee. You stood firm for each other, this company, and our mission. One of the most important things for the team that builds AGI safely is the ability to handle stressful and uncertain situations, and maintain good judgment throughout. Top marks. Thank you all.

Satya, Kevin, Amy, and Brad have been incredible partners throughout this, with exactly the right priorities all the way through. They’ve had our backs and were ready to welcome all of us if we couldn’t achieve our primary goal. We clearly made the right choice to partner with Microsoft and I’m excited that our new board will include them as a non-voting observer. Thank you.

To our partners and users, thank you for sticking with us. We really felt the outpouring of support and love, and it helped all of us get through this. The fact that we did not lose a single customer will drive us to work even harder for you, and we are all excited to get back to work.

Will Hurd, Brian Chesky, Bret Taylor and Larry Summers put their lives on hold and did an incredible amount to support the mission. I don’t know how they did it so well, but they really did. Thank you.

Ollie also put his life on hold this entire time to just do everything he could to help out, in addition to providing his usual unconditional love and support. Thank you and I love you.

So what’s next?

We have three immediate priorities.

Advancing our research plan and further investing in our full-stack safety efforts, which have always been critical to our work. Our research roadmap is clear; this was a wonderfully focusing time. I share the excitement you all feel; we will turn this crisis into an opportunity! I’ll work with Mira on this.

Continuing to improve and deploy our products and serve our customers. It’s important that people get to experience the benefits and promise of AI, and have the opportunity to shape it. We continue to believe that great products are the best way to do this. I’ll work with Brad, Jason and Anna to ensure our unwavering commitment to users, customers, partners and governments around the world is clear.

Bret, Larry, and Adam will be working very hard on the extremely important task of building out a board of diverse perspectives, improving our governance structure and overseeing an independent review of recent events. I look forward to working closely with them on these crucial steps so everyone can be confident in the stability of OpenAI.

I am so looking forward to finishing the job of building beneficial AGI with you all—best team in the world, best mission in the world.

Love,

Sam

Source: https://openai.com/blog/sam-altman-returns-as-ceo-openai-has-a-new-initial-board

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Businessuite News24 International

Sam Altman OpenAI’s co-founder Ousted By His Board Of Directors, Silicon Valley Upended

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OpenAI’s Sam Altman, co-founder of the hottest startup on Earth and its most prominent spokesperson for the promises and perils of artificial intelligence, has been ousted by his board of directors.

Ilya Sutskever,

Altman’s firing followed an intensifying dispute with his fellow co-founder, OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, over the speed and safety of the startup’s product rollouts, according to people close to the company, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The pair and their respective allies on the board also disagreed over Altman’s campaign to raise funds for a separate company to make AI chips to compete with Nvidia Corp., and another project to produce AI-related hardware in partnership with former Apple chief designer Jony Ive.

Sutskever and his friends on the OpenAI board may have also been put off by Altman using OpenAI’s name to raise capital, and by the proposed new companies not sharing the same capped-profit governance model as OpenAI, according to one of the people.

In a statement on Friday night, former OpenAI President Greg Brockman, who also resigned amid yesterday’s imbroglio, said he and Altman were surprised by the company’s decision. “Sam and I are shocked and saddened by what the board did today,” Brockman wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “We too are still trying to figure out exactly what happened.”

Brockman ended by writing, “Greater things coming soon,” suggesting the pair might soon launch another company to compete with OpenAI. If so, it could further scramble the balance of power in Silicon Valley.

Microsoft Corp. has invested $13 billion in OpenAI since 2019, and has devoted significant computing and engineering capacity to the startup. (Microsoft said in a statement that it’s committed to OpenAI.)

Of course, companies firing their founders is part of the recurring foundational lore of Silicon Valley. Apple fired Steve Jobs in 1985; Twitter dismissed its co-founder Jack Dorsey in 2008. Both executives famously returned to their firms years later. But Altman’s exit could have a larger impact on the industry and the futuristic technology he came to represent.

For much of the last year, Altman has been on a world tour rivaling Taylor Swift’s. In a given week, he might meet with a head of state, testify before Congress and sit for a magazine interview. In appearance after appearance, he touted the promise of AI with a strange blend of optimism and pessimism, maddening his critics. This week, Altman was a prominent figure at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in San Francisco.

But it all ground to a halt on Friday, days shy of the one-year anniversary of the release of ChatGPT, which introduced generative AI to the masses. In a blog post disclosing the news of Altman’s firing, OpenAI said its board had lost confidence in the CEO’s leadership after conducting a review that showed that he “was not consistently candid in his communications with the board.”

“If I start going off, the OpenAI board should go after me for the full value of my shares,” Altman posted late Friday night. But Altman famously has no equity in the company he once led.

In other words, he was being sarcastic. Sam Altman is unlikely to go quietly. —Brad Stone and Julia Love
Source Bloomberg

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