JM | Apr 28, 2021

BOJ launches digital currency design and logo competition

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

Social media is abuzz following the Central Bank of Jamaica’s contest reveal. (Photo: Twitter @CentralBankJA)

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), signalling its intent to shake up the cryptocurrency market, is enticing the country’s creative industry to vie for over $1.2 million in cash and prizes in the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) competition.

The central bank, in a statement on Wednesday (April 28), wants Jamaicans to imagine and design a name, tagline, logo and representative image for the CBDC.

Each criterion serves as a separate category, however, name and logo fetch the more handsome of grand prizes, $350,000 each as well as $25,000 in a CBDC account for the winner.

While the $25,000-deposit still applies to tagline and image design, both grand prizes are valued at $250,000.

The BOJ further explained that contestants can submit single entries for any one category, or a combination of the four.

Contestants are, however, limited to only one entry per category, and the deadline for submissions is June 4.

Breakdown of competition selection criteria

The selection committee will be comprised of a panel of judges selected by BOJ, who will evaluate all entries based on:

  1. Each entrant may submit no more than one entry in each category.
  2. Each entry must be deemed appropriate based on the intended use of CBDC.
  3. The entries must be relevant, original and of high aesthetic quality.
  4. Design entries should be easy to use, handle, and manipulate for purposes of high-quality production for web, print, and other media or marketing mediums.
  5. Entries should preferably be uniquely Jamaican, signify the use of digital technology, and simultaneously reference CBDC as money.
  6. Entry is open to all persons. Bank of Jamaica staff, with the exception of persons working directly on the CBDC project, are eligible to enter.

The BOJ noted that for contestants to receive the CBDC portion of the prize, winners will be required to open a CBDC account at a financial institution of their choice.

Additionally, the central bank said that CBDC will have the major functions of money, as now obtains with banknotes and coins. Effectively, CBDC will be legal tender issued in a digital form, with the BOJ being the sole issuer.

“It will be a store of value, a medium of exchange, a single unit of account, and a standard of payment. This will allow consumers to make payments anywhere, anytime, on any device,” the now-independent BOJ explained.

“In that regard, it is fully backed by the Central Bank. It is not to be confused with cryptocurrency, which is privately issued, generally not backed by a central authority and does not perform all the essential functions of money,” the central bank added.