Nigerian central bank to launch new CBDC through Bitt collaboration

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is teaming with Barbados-based FinTech Bitt to introduce a new central bank digital currency (CBDC) called eNaira.

According to FinTech Futures, the new digital currency will be unveiled later this year through a pilot study that will be known as Project Giant.

The Project Giant pilot will look to bolster cross-border trade, boost financial inclusion, strengthen tax collection and speed up remittance inflows in Nigeria.

Bitt – a company the develops payment systems for citizens, merchants, central banks and banking institutions – was chosen by CBN based on the company’s ‘pivotal involvement’ with the development and launch of the CBDC pilot of the Eastern Caribbean Central bank earlier this year.

The CBN noted that it had received multiple international submissions and applicants for the pilot. The competitors were judged based on product maturity, scalability, privacy, platform security and interoperability, among others.

Bitt said that its Digital Currency Management System – a system licensed currently by national financial institutions in six countries across the Caribbean and Central America – will help cut the time required to introduce the eNaira.

Bitt CEO Brian Popelka said, “Digitising the Naira will benefit the entire Nigerian financial ecosystem. The financial and humanitarian benefits that our technology offers will be transformative, especially in the lives of those 50 million unbanked Nigerians.”

Back in August of this year, the CBN outlined plans to launch its own digital currency by October 1 this year.

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