Nigeria to Launch Pilot CBDC Project in 2021

According to a central bank official, Nigeria has been researching digital naira for two years and may launch CBDC by the end of 2021.

June 11, 2021 | AtoZ Markets By the end of 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may launch a pilot central bank digital currency (CBDC) project. This was stated by the information technology specialist of the regulator Rakia Mohammed, Today NG is reporting.

CBN has been exploring digital naira for over two years, she said.

"By the end of the year, the central bank will make a special announcement and possibly launch a pilot scheme to provide such currency to the public," Mohammed said.

Read also: Survey: Nigeria Leads Global Adoption of Cryptocurrencies in 2020

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A spokeswoman for the regulator added that CBDC will supplement cash. This will simplify and speed up transfers to Nigeria, according to CBN.

The authorities plan to explore options for launching a digital currency and involve "various industry players" in the process.

Recall that in September 2020, the SEC of Nigeria  equated  cryptocurrencies to securities. In the same year, the department announced the development of a regulatory framework for digital assets and blockchain technology.

As AtoZ Markets reported in February 2021, the CBN imposed a ban on all commercial banks and regulated financial institutions from providing account services to crypto exchanges. Later, the Senate of Nigeria demanded that the governor of the Central Bank Godwin Emefiele  explain the imposed restrictions.

Read also: Nigeria SEC Suspends Crypto Regulatory Plans Amid Central Bank Ban

At the end of March, CBN spokesman Adam Lamtek said that the regulator did not impose a ban on cryptocurrency trading but the restrictions applied only to financial institutions.

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