On Monday, August 30, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced on its official website its partnership with Bitt, a Barbados-based financial technology company and released plans to launch the country’s own cryptocurrency, eNaira.
‘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’, according to the statement by the CBN. Bitt is the firm that managed the successful launch of ‘DCash’, the world’s first digital currency created by a central bank, the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.
In the same press release, it was stated that the CBN governor Godwin Emefiele will ‘include increased cross-border trade, accelerated financial inclusion, cheaper and faster remittance inflows, easier targeted social interventions, as well as improvements in monetary policy effectiveness, payment systems efficiency, and tax collection’.
Additionally, the governor also said that eNaira will operate as a wallet where users can store funds they keep in their bank accounts.
According to the report by digital media platform Forkast, Speed Wallet was selected by the CBN as the accredited wallet for eNaira. It was also stated that the wallet will serve as the temporary wallet for the eNaira payments until banks and institutions create their own. Additionally, users won’t be charged with fees for their transactions with eNaira.
The CBN has prohibited banks and financial institutions from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions since 2017 and reiterated the ban on a published statement on its website last February.
‘It is important to clarify that the CBN circular of Feb. 5, 2021, did not place any new restrictions on cryptocurrencies, given that all banks in the country had earlier been forbidden, through CBN’s circular dated Jan. 12, 2017, not to use, hold, trade and/or transact in cryptocurrencies’.
For now, the CBN has provided specifications on how eNaira would be regulated, created and circulated according to the news website IT News Africa. The eNaira is projected to become legal money in Nigeria which will be available to both bank account and non-account holders.
The CBN had stated that the Project Giant, as what the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) eNaira project is called, will be launched on October 1, Friday.
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