Banking Top Story

CBN plans pilot digital currency by year-end

If all plans go as intended, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will be launching its own digital currency by the end of the year.

According to an official of the nation’s premier bank, Central Bank Director of Information Technology, Rakiya Mohammed, the project to create some form of digital currency had been in the works for two years, and more announcements are likely in the coming weeks.

EditPro | Lagos Metropolitan newspaper Godwin Emefiele, Nigeria’s CBN Governor

In a recording shared with international news agency, Reuters, she said, “We’re all aware that about 80% of central banks in the world are exploring the possibility of issuing central bank digital currency, and Nigeria cannot be left behind,”

Mohammed was speaking bankers on June 10 in a virtual briefing.

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She said the system would expand digital inclusion, make remittances from the diaspora easier and smooth international purchases for Nigerians.

“If you have a central bank digital currency that is backed by the government, then people can make transactions online without fear of any default,” Mohammed said.

The CBN had barred banks and financial institutions from dealing in or facilitating transactions in cryptocurrencies in February after exponential growth in monthly cryptocurrency transfers to and from Africa.

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