While many governments and banks want to explore a CBDC, powering such a system remains a key challenge. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank found that out the hard way after its system crashed due to a technical glitch. For now, cash holders can’t use their CBDC, and there is no timeline for restarting the service.
Eastern Caribbean CBDC Hits A Snag
The Eastern Caribbean region is one of the frontrunners in supporting CBDC initiatives. Known as DCash, the digital dollar project has the full support of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. Moreover, the project has been in development for two years before launching in March of 2021, with the help of the technology firm Bitt.
Unfortunately, it would appear this CBDC is not working as intended. More specifically, the ecosystem has been halted by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank due to a technical issue affecting the network. More specifically, the entire network will need to undergo an unscheduled upgrade, effectively pausing transactions for all users.
That is not great news for those who rely on the DCash CBDC these days. All users and partners affected by this outage have no recourse, nor can they do anything with their current DCash balance until the network returns. The ECCB is working with service providers and technology partners to ensure services resume as quickly as possible.
So far, the ECCB has noted various failed transactions, which will be rectified once the network comes online again. When that is exactly, remains anyone’s guess, as solving this issue may take some time. Moreover, it highlights the headaches of running a centralized system to introduce a digital representation of existing money. Building a CBDC concept is one thing, but providing a seamless experience with near 100% uptime is a tall order.