Nigerian central bank partners with Bitt to deliver new digital currency
Nigeria’s central bank has partnered with Barbadian fintech Bitt to develop the country’s digital currency, eNaira, due to be unveiled later in the year.
Announcing the technical partnership between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Bitt, governor Godwin Emefiele outlined the benefits of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to the continent’s largest economy.
Project Giant, as the CBDC pilot is known, will increase cross-border trade, boost financial inclusion, speed up remittance inflows and improve tax collection in the West African country, the CBN says.
The CBN received multiple international submissions and applicants were judged on product maturity, platform security, scalability, privacy and interoperability, among others.
The CBN selected Bitt based on the fintech’s “pivotal involvement” with the development and successful launch of the CBDC pilot of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in April 2021.
Bitt says its Digital Currency Management System (DCMS), currently licensed by national financial institutions in six countries across Central America and the Caribbean, will reduce the time required to implement the eNaira.
Bitt CEO, Brian Popelka, says 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.”
Bitt creates payments systems for citizens, merchants, banking institutions and central banks that “promote social inclusion and financial empowerment”, utilising blockchain and distributed ledger technology to facilitate secure peer-to-peer transactions with mobile money.