On March 31st, 2021, the ECCB launched the pilot of its digital currency called ‘DCash’, which is a blockchain based, digital version of the Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollar. The DCash pilot seeks to create greater financial inclusion in the Eastern Caribbean Countries Union (ECCU) as well as increase economic growth and business opportunities. The pilot will run for 12 months and will initially include four countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia. The pilot will subsequently be extended to other eastern Caribbean countries with the anticipation that these will join by September 2021.
According to a release by ECCB Governor Mr. Timothy Antoine, DCash is aimed at establishing safer, cheaper and faster payment systems for all persons except “illicit actors”. In expanding each of the benefits of the new digital currency, the Governor noted that digital cash cannot be stolen and facilitates contactless method of payments, which adheres to COVID-19 protocols. Furthermore, the ECCB “has been careful to embed AML/CFT protocols in the DCash design and to incorporate industry standards and best practices as it relates to cybersecurity…and data privacy.” Payments and transfers are completed instantly and there is no cost for persons using DCash to carry out transactions. Additionally, the Governor stated that utilizing the DCash app would offer users better financial management.
Individuals can access DCash through the official App, the DCash Wallet, and conduct financial transactions using their smart devices. DCash can be obtained from participating commercial banks, credit unions or other authorised institutions.