Central Bank of Nigeria announces partnership with Bitt

Nigeria’s digital currency will officially launch on October 1, 2021.

Nigeria’s digital currency project will benefit from a collaboration with Bitt, the country’s Central Bank announced on Monday.

According to the press release, Barbados-based Bitt will provide technical assistance as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) prepares to finalise the launch of the country’s digital currency, dubbed “eNaira”.

The CBN said in the statement that the decision to select Bitt was due to the various strengths of the fintech company, including its “ technological competence, efficiency, [and] security of its platform.”

The bank also took into account the Barbados-based company’s previous experience in a related project, which it helped launch in April this year.

The partnership with Bitt comes after the announcement of the launch of the eNaira on October 1 this year. It also comes after the banking regulator warned banks and other financial institutions against Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies.

Commenting on the announcement, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stressed the ability of the eNaira to improve financial inclusion, lower cost remittances and tax collection.

The launch of the eNaira will be done in phases and the project will allow the digital currency to become legal tender. In the initial phase, the Central Bank will issue, distribute and facilitate redemption of the digital currency.

In the next phase, registered financial institutions will receive the digital currency from the bank and oversee the issuance of stablecoins.

In the next stage, the government seeks to initiate transaction processing, which will continue with further integration between financial players, merchants and individual users. In the fifth stage, the eNaira will become part of the Retail Consumer Suite, providing a more seamless experience for customers.

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