Central Bank of Nigeria Partners With Barbados-based Fintech for CBDC Project

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Babafemi Adebajo
Babafemi Adebajo

Femi is a freelance content writer with adequate experience creating content for online and offline media across different niches including technology. When he is not writing, you can find him trying out new technology or reading.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may have just named Bitt Inc., a fintech firm based in Barbados, as a technical partner for its digital currency project (the e-naira) that was earlier reported. As a technical partner, Bitt will be expected to use its technological know-how and bring to the fore, its competence and experience to help the CBN launch the central bank digital currency (CBDC) in a successful manner.

E-Naira draft guidelines

This report of the CBN announcing the Barbados-based firm as its partner follows shortly after earlier reports had suggested that the central bank has issued draft guidelines for the e-naira to existent banks and financial institutions. Speaking about the selection of Bitt, the CBN’s director of communications, Osita Nwanisobi, was full of positivity as he boasted proudly about the fintech’s tested and proven digital currency experience. 

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In a seemingly supporting statement by Bitt, Nwanisobi’s claims appeared to be corroborated by the statement on Bitt’s website, which reveals that the fintech firm had previously signed a contract to conduct a CBDC pilot for the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). Although the contract was signed in 2019, in April of 2021, ECCB finally launched its digital currency.

E-Naira and the Financial inclusion cause

As previously reported by Techgenyz News, the CBN has already set October 1, 2021, as the launch date for its own CBDC. The central bank remains positive that this digital currency will deepen financial inclusion and make for cheaper and faster remittance inflows. The apex bank also says that it expects the e-naira to improve cross-border trade and also improve the effectiveness of its (the CBN) monetary policies. 

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If this launch of the e-naira by the CBN is successful, it will mark a happy ending for a plan that was set in motion nearly four years ago. The launch will also be seen as a vital victory for both the CBN and its governor, Godwin Emefiele who is an astute anti-bitcoin individual.

Still, with just about four weeks left before the launch, CBN must hope that it has made enough preparation to ensure that the e-naira is an undeniable success.

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