The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has named the fintech firm Bitt Inc. as a technical partner for its digital currency project, the e-naira. As a technical partner, Bitt is expected to use its “technological competence and implementation experience” to help the CBN successfully launch the central bank digital currency (CBDC).
E-Naira Draft Guidelines
The CBN’s unveiling of the Barbados-based firm as its partner comes shortly after reports suggested that the central bank had released draft guidelines for the e-naira. In justifying the selection of Bitt, Osita Nwanisobi, the CBN’s director of communications, touted the fintech’s “tested and proven digital currency experience.”
These claims by Nwanisobi appear to be supported by a statement on Bitt’s website that suggests the fintech firm had signed a contract to conduct a CBDC pilot for the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). The contract was signed in 2019 and in April of 2021, ECCB finally launched its digital currency.
E-Naira and the Financial Inclusion Cause
As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, the CBN has set October 1, 2021, as the launch date for its CBDC. The central bank insists this digital currency will deepen financial inclusion, and enable cheaper, faster remittance inflows. The apex bank says it expects the e-naira to enhance cross-border trade as well as the effectiveness of its monetary policies.
The launch of the e-naira by the CBN — if successful — will mark the final culmination of a plan that was set in motion nearly four years ago. The launch will also be seen as an important victory for both the CBN and its anti-bitcoin governor, Godwin Emefiele.
Still, with just a few weeks left before the launch, CBN must cross its fingers that it has done adequate preparation to ensure the e-naira is a success.
What are your thoughts on the CBN’s choice of a technical partner? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.