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Nigeria: Apex banks partners Bitt Inc. ahead of the launch of eNaira

CBN Selects Bitt Inc as Technical Partner for Digital Currency Project - Project giant

The CBN is gearing up for the launch of eNaira on the 1st of October as it announces a partnership with Barbados-based Fintech Bitt Inc. The company will act as a technical partner to the CBN for a central bank digital currency pilot project called Project Giant.

The CBN said in a press release, "The CBN's selection of Bitt Inc, from among highly competitive bidders, was hinged on the company's technological competence, efficiency, platform security, interoperability, and implementation experience."

"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. Bitt Inc. was key to the development and successful launch of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in April 2021," it added.

The apex bank will be responsible for the first phase of the eNaira rollout, including issuance, distribution, redemption, and currency destruction. Data will be stored on a cloud server which will be monitored and analyzed by the central bank.

In the second phase, licensed financial institutions will be able to request or issue stablecoins. In contrast, in the third phase, the Nigerian government will process digital payments to and from citizens and businesses.

The fourth and fifth stages of the pilot will involve merchants who are expected to provide low-cost payment and business management software and improve user interface and architecture.

According to another report, the CBN has selected Speed Wallet as the official wallet for eNaira. The wallet will not serve as a competitor to banks but will enable eNaira payments until they develop their wallets.

Nigeria in focus

GDP: $432.294 billion in 2020 compared to $448.12 billion in 2019

Population: 206,139,587 in 2020 compared to 200,963,03 in 2019

GDP per capita: $2,097 in 2020 compared to $2,229 in 2019