Barbados-based fintech firm Bitt Inc will be working as the technical partner for the Central Bank of Nigeria for its proposed e-naira digital currency.
In a Monday announcement, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it had chosen Bitt Inc based on the company’s “technological competence, efficiency, platform security, interoperability and implementation experience.” It also considered the fintech firm’s experience in the development of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s digital currency, DCash, which it launched in April.
The partnership announcement comes the same day the CBN issued preliminary guidelines for its central bank digital currency, or CBDC, called the e-naira. The initiative from Nigeria’s central bank, called Project Giant, will be pegged to the value of the country’s fiat currency, the naira. The CBN reportedly plans to pilot the CBDC starting in October, though the central bank in nearby Ghana is also considering a digital currency rollout soon.
In February, the Central Bank of Nigeria prohibited commercial banks from providing account services to crypto exchanges. However, reports indicate that interest in cryptocurrency and trading volume in the country is still rising despite the crackdown.