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Jam-Dex: Jamaica’s CBDC to Transform the Transportation Sector

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Jamaica’s central bank digital currency, Jam-Dex, is set to revolutionize how people pay for public transportation in the island nation. Local bus and taxi operators are eager to integrate Jam-Dex into their operations, as it offers convenience, security, and cost-efficiency.

Jam-Dex: Jamaica’s CBDC to Transform the Transportation Sector

Jam-Dex is the name of Jamaica’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), launched by the Bank of Jamaica in 2022. It is a digital form of legal tender that can be used to pay for goods and services, just like cash.

Jam-Dex is not a cryptocurrency, as it is issued and backed by the central bank and does not rely on a decentralized network of computers.

It can be accessed through a digital wallet app called Lynk, which allows users to send and receive Jam-Dex using their mobile phones.

Users can also convert Jam-Dex to cash or vice versa at authorized agents or deposit-taking institutions.

Jam-Dex transactions are fast, secure, and transparent, as they are recorded on a ledger maintained by the central bank.

Jam-Dex: Why is it important for the transportation sector?
The transportation sector is one of the key sectors that could benefit from adopting Jam-Dex, as it could streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance security for drivers and passengers.

Aldo Antonio, co-founder and acting executive chairman of the National Transporters Alliance Group (NTAG), is actively championing the integration of Jam-Dex within the transport community.

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

Antonio believes that Jam-Dex could increase customer convenience and satisfaction, as well as reduce the risks associated with carrying physical cash or handling exact change. He also thinks that J

am-Dex could attract more customers to use public transportation, as it offers a modern and innovative way of paying for their rides.

“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.”

Challenges and Opportunities
Despite the potential benefits of Jam-Dex, its adoption rate among vendors and consumers has been sluggish, causing some hesitation among bus and taxi drivers.

According to local reports, only 10,000 vendors and 200,000 individuals use Jam-Dex through the Lynk app, which is far below the expected target of one million users by the end of 2023.

Antonio acknowledges that there are some challenges to overcome before Jam-Dex can become widely used in the transportation sector.

He cites the need for more education and awareness campaigns and incentives and rewards for drivers and passengers who use Jam-Dex.

He also emphasizes the importance of cultivating a larger customer base willing to embrace the CBDC, as the lack of customer interest could discourage merchants from accepting Jam-Dex.

However, Antonio remains optimistic about the future prospects of Jam-Dex, as he envisions that with proper training and implementation, the transportation sector could potentially begin accepting Jam-Dex payments by January 2024, if not earlier.

He also estimates that there are approximately 25,000 to 30,000 transportation owners in Jamaica whose participation could significantly expand the reach of Jam-Dex beyond the existing user base.

Antonio hopes that Jam-Dex will become a catalyst for digital transformation in Jamaica, as well as a source of pride and identity for Jamaicans.

He said:

“Jam-Dex is something that we should be proud of as Jamaicans because it’s our own digital currency.”

 

by Victory Emmanuel

Original Source article BY DASHAN HENDRICKS Business content manager hendricksd@jamaicaobserver.com

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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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Logistics & Transportation

Newport West in Jamaica to Be Redeveloped

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Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill (second right), shares in discussion with (from left) Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Marianne Van Steen; Director with the EU, Felix Fernandez Shaw; President of the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ), Corah Ann Sylvester; and Chairman of Jamaica Producers Group, Charles Johnson. Occasion was a press briefing held at the Kingston Wharves Limited Corporate Office on Friday (January 26)

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill has welcomed the involvement of the European Union (EU) in the redevelopment of Newport West.

The EU will be making funding available for a study and a business model, that will result in the area becoming a world class logistics facility, and a competitive resilient economic zone.

Speaking at a press briefing held at the Kingston Wharves Limited Corporate Office on Friday (January 26), Minister Hill said the group “understands that we want to be become the logistics hub of the region”.

The Minister informed that the level of investments and expertise that Jamaica is seeking to attract for Newport West, will not come without a study that is comprehensive and detailed.

“They have agreed to help fund that study. At the higher level, we will be looking at Jamaica’s Special Economic Zone, because we intend to become the logistics in the region Guyana is developing. They do not have a deep-water port, and no big ship can go in there, Jamaica then is the natural transshipment area to feed Guyana,” Mr. Hill stated.

The press briefing was attended by private sector investors, officials from the European Investment Bank, and other personnel from the EU.

Mr. Hill stated that the study will aid the European Investment Bank, and local investors, while adding that the local market, such as the pension fund, has money that can be put into long-term investments, “so, a development like this in the port, would be ideal for them”.

The EU delegation participated in numerous activities such as a tour of the German Ship Repair (GSRJ) Jamaica facility at Harbour Head, in Kingston. The itinerary also included visits to both port terminals, Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL) and Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL), including the KWL Global Auto Logistics Centre.

Funding for the redevelopment of Newport West, will be channeled through the EU Global Gateway Agenda.

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Kelli-Dawn Hamilton Appointed CEO of the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA).

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Kelli-Dawn Hamilton is the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA).

Mrs. Hamilton, who assumed office on October 26, will lead the entity into its next phase of growth and development.

She served as the Authority’s most recent Interim CEO.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, in his congratulatory statement, said that Mrs. Hamilton will “bring significant experience to the role”.

He noted that she has an acute sense of leadership that will propel Jamaica’s export agenda and attract foreign investments to support the country’s economic growth.

Chairman of the Authority, Chirstopher Levy, expressed his confidence in the new CEO, stating that “we are thrilled to welcome Mrs. Hamilton back to the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority”.

“Her proven leadership and strategic insights will undoubtedly accelerate our growth trajectory and reinforce our commitment to delivering exceptional value to our customers and stakeholder,” Chairman of the Authority, Chirstopher Levy

Mrs. Hamilton said she is happy to be rejoining the JSEZA family and looks forward to leveraging the company’s strong foundation and talented workforce to drive innovation and sustainable growth for Jamaica’s special economic zones.

“Together, we will continue to create and build upon the company’s legacy of excellence and reinforce our position as a strategic hub for trade and commerce in the Caribbean Region,” she said.

Mrs. Hamilton has a proven track record and expertise in trade policy, communications and business development and brings to the table a wealth of experience in business advocacy and client relationships, having previously served in various technical and leadership roles at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), First Global Bank and the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ).

Her strategic vision, strong leadership abilities, and extensive industry knowledge make her an ideal fit to steer the JSEZA towards continued success and global expansion.

Mrs. Hamilton holds a Master of Science Degree in Comparative Politics and Political Theory from the University of the West Indies, Mona, and has demonstrated her commitment to excellence and leadership throughout her career.

The JSEZA is an agency under the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce charged with driving economic growth through the establishment of special economic zones.

Since its inception in 2016, the company has been at the forefront of foreign and local direct investment attraction within Jamaica’s special economic zone regime.

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Logistics & Transportation

Jamaica’s Taxi Drivers Embrace Crypto For Faster Rides

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Jamaica’s transportation sector is poised for a digital revolution as local bus and taxi operators eagerly anticipate integrating the nation’s own central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as Jam-Dex.

Jamaica is actively working towards enabling CBDC services on the mobile phones of the general public.

Jamaica’s transportation sector is poised for a digital revolution as local bus and taxi operators eagerly anticipate integrating the nation’s own central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as Jam-Dex. The introduction of Jam-Dex by the Central Bank of Jamaica in 2022 was marked by an airdrop event aimed at accelerating its widespread adoption. Recent developments reveal that Aldo Antonio, co-founder and acting executive chairman of the National Transporters Alliance Group (NTAG), is actively championing the integration of Jam-Dex within the transport community.

Although Jam-Dex holds the potential to streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance security for the transportation sector, local reports suggest that the adoption rate among vendors and consumers has been sluggish, causing some hesitation among bus and taxi drivers. Nevertheless, Antonio remains resolutely optimistic about the prospects:

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

To ensure the viability of Jam-Dex, Antonio emphasizes the necessity of cultivating a larger customer base willing to embrace the CBDC. The lack of customer interest could discourage merchants, ultimately leading to the abandonment of the digital currency initiative.

Antonio identifies food and transportation as the two key sectors that could drive the everyday usage of Jam-Dex. He elaborates on this concept, stating:

“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.”

Jamaica to enable CBDC on mobile phones

In addition to enhancing convenience for customers, the widespread adoption of a central bank digital currency also alleviates concerns related to the security risks associated with carrying physical cash or handling exact change. As part of its strategy, Jamaica is actively working towards enabling CBDC services on the mobile phones of the general public. Antonio envisions that, with proper training and implementation, the transportation sector could potentially begin accepting Jam-Dex payments by January, if not earlier.

Approximately 25,000 to 30,000 transportation owners are present in Jamaica, and their participation could significantly expand the reach of Jam-Dex beyond the existing user base of 10,000 vendors and 200,000 individuals who use the CBDC through the Lynk digital wallet.

https://www.cryptopolitan.com/jamaicas-taxi-drivers-embrace-crypto/

Original Source article BY DASHAN HENDRICKS Business content manager hendricksd@jamaicaobserver.com

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Logistics & Transportation

Jamaican Taxi Drivers Bullish On Accepting Jam-Dex CBDC

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Jam-Dex would be significantly transformative for the public transportation sector and needs to be embraced, believes Aldo Antonio.

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.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/jamaica-taxi-drivers-jam-dex-cbdc

Original Source article BY DASHAN HENDRICKS Business content manager hendricksd@jamaicaobserver.com

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