Nigeria announced its plans earlier to launch its digital currency called e-Naira. This came after the government, through the Central bank of Nigeria, banned financial institutions from facilitating crypto-related transactions. It was revealed that the e-Naira project would be completed before the end of the year, and some news source has it that it will be launched on the country’s Independence Day, October 1.
To achieve this feat, the Nigerian government has announced a new partnership with a fintech company, Bitt. The firm based in Barbados has been engaged as the technical partner of the government on the project. The firm is known for its previous outstanding works, including the development of DCash, an eastern Caribbean Currency Union.
Cheaper and Faster Transactions With CBDC
The Central Bank of Nigeria’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced this partnership at the federal capital territory on Monday where he called the launch of the e-Naira will ensure cheaper and faster transactions in the country. “This will also ensure easier cross-border transactions,” he said.
The intention of launching a CBDC was announced in July in an attempt to keep up in the race of the countries exploring the CBDC option. Currently, over 80% of the total countries in the world are looking to launch their Central Bank Digital Currency.
The Nigerian CBDC also came as a result of the surging interest in digital payments in the country, and Bitt was chosen as a technical partner because of its obvious track record and expertise in the country.
As expected, there are many bidders for the partnership role. While the selection was very competitive, it was based on efficiency, technological competence, interoperability, implementation experience, and platform security.
The Ban on Cryptocurrency in the Country
In February, the government placed a bn on cryptocurrency amid the adoption growth amid the youth. The central bank instructed all the financial institutions in the country to seize the trading of cryptos and block all accounts doing the same with them with immediate effects. The basis for this is that the digital assets are no legal tender.
However, there have been different calls for the government to revisit its decision, but the government remains resolute on its decision. e-Naira was then believed to be an alternative from the government to soothe the citizens if digital transactions must be embraced.
Instead of the ban restricting the citizens on crypto trading, it only boosted it. Currently, over $40 million in BTC are moved by Nigerians in 30 days. This makes the country have the highest BTC trading volume globally.