The people's design?Thursday, May 13, 2021
Generally, there have been mixed feelings about the recent decision by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) to host a competition to select a logo for their digital currency. One-half of the society believes the BOJ should have gone ahead and hired an agency or seek to contract the design services via more professional and traditional means. I stand with the other half of the public, believing that hosting a competition does a world of good both for the digital currency and for our creatives.
Graphic designing is not found anywhere in our education curriculum at neither the primary nor secondary level, as such many designers begin their careers as hobbyists. Many designers across Jamaica are uncertified, as such having something as big as the nation's digital currency in their portfolio would immediately legitimise their body of work, allowing them to grow and develop in their field. While there will only be one winner, giving every graphic designer this opportunity is a priceless undertaking by the BOJ.
The BOJ is creating a logo which means, very soon, there will be a marketing or sensitising campaign around what this entire digital currency means for the economy and ordinary Jamaicans. This competition would generate awareness and generate national interest, which can help to give the BOJ a platform to meet the people. It is easy to get information out to the public if they are already listening for it.
While cryptocurrencies are a little different from digital currencies, the recent surge of Dogecoin crypto, which was a joke on the Internet, only began when it was adopted by the masses as the “people's crypto”.
Unlike cryptocurrencies, digital currencies come with less volatility and have greater security. Digital currencies have the support and backing of their respective financial institutions. Once introduced, they will allow people to make payments via the Internet and possibly even offline, competing with cryptocurrencies.
For the BOJ digital currency to be a success it needs to be adopted and be seen as authentically Jamaican. There is no better way of doing this than allowing the people's digital currency to be designed by the people.
Adrean A Gentles
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