The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) said Thursday, it is completing the final testing and assurance exercises following system upgrades and will make the DCash platform available for public use, next week.
The digital dollar was launched on Montserrat in December 2021 but was still in the early stages of onboarding merchants and customers here.
In a media advisory, the bank said “the road to DCash has been a novel and rewarding journey though not without its challenges. In January 2022, the DCash system experienced its first interruption since its launch in March 2021. As a result, the processing of new transactions on the DCash network was halted. This interruption was not caused by any external intervention. The security and integrity of all DCash data, applications and architecture, including all central bank, financial institutions, and merchant and wallet apps remain secure and intact.”
Following the interruption, the ECCB said it took the opportunity to “undertake several upgrades to the DCash platform including enhancing the system’s certificate management processes – the initial cause of the interruption, and updating the version of Hyperledger Fabric, the foundation of the DCash platform.” These upgrades, the bank noted, has further “strengthened the robust security mechanisms, which ultimately underpin the DCash technology, resulting in a more resilient product.”
“The process of introducing a digital sovereign currency was a major feat, which saw the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) becoming the first currency union in the world to issue a digital currency. This is a learning experience for the ECCB and for the entire central bank digital currency (CDBC) community.
“Despite the recent service disruption, we affirm our commitment to the financial inclusion agenda. The people of the ECCU remain at the centre of the DCash pilot. With humility, we continue to test and learn (an essential ingredient for innovation) as we press forward with the payments revolution for the people of our region.
“As we look to the future, several new features will be added to the list of DCash functionalities and tested as part of the pilot. These include the introduction of an e-commerce function, which will allow business owners to accept DCash via their websites; government to consumer payments; and the rollout of the pilot to the final ECCB member country, Anguilla,” the advisory stated.
Within the confines of a pilot or test environment, the ECCB said it will continue to evaluate the DCash product and its infrastructure and ensure that adjustments are continually made for the overall enhancement of the product prior to commercialisation.
The bank acknowledged the inconvenience caused because of the extended service interruption and assured the public that the ECCB remains committed to serving the people of the ECCU and helping to promote shared prosperity by creating real opportunities for positive transformation.