Sunday, December 5, 2021

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CBN selects Bitt Inc as partner for eNaira currency

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has partnered with Bitt Inc, a global fintech company, as the technical partner for its digital currency, eNaira.

Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, disclosed the development in Abuja, on Monday listing the benefits of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to include increased cross-border trade, accelerated financial inclusion, cheaper, and faster remittances.

Others are easier targeted social interventions, as well as improvements in monetary policy effectiveness, payment systems efficiency, and tax collection.

The deal comes a month after Nigeria’s apex bank said it will launch the pilot scheme of eNaira by October 1, 2021.

Osita Nwanisobi, CBN’s spokesperson, in a statement, said the selection of Bitt Inc. from among highly competitive bidders was hinged on the company’s technological competence, efficiency, platform security, interoperability, and implementation experience.

“In choosing Bitt Inc, the CBN will rely on the company’s tested and proven digital currency experience, which is already in circulation in several Eastern Caribbean Countries,” the statement reads.

“Bitt Inc. was key to the development and successful launch of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in April 202I.”

Nwanisobi said following the CBN’s decision to digitise the naira in 2017, Project Giant, as the Nigerian CBDC pilot is known, has been a long and thorough process for the apex bank.

He attributed the global adoption of digital currencies to the significant explosion in digital payments and the rise in the digital economy.

Bitt is a Barbados-based startup that led the development of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union’s “DCash”— the first digital cash issued by a currency union central bank.

 

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