Nigeria to pilot central bank digital currency in October

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been in the headlines this year for its anti-cryptocurrency measures.

Nigeria to pilot central bank digital currency in October

The bank has redoubled its investment and research this week into blockchain and has set a clear date for the pilot scheme of its central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The central bank will reportedly launch a pilot scheme on October 1, for “GIANT” – a CBDC project in development since 2017, which runs on the open-source blockchain Hyperledger Fabric.

Rakiya Mohammed, CBN’s information technology director, said the bank might conduct a proof-of-concept before the end of this year.

CBN representatives reportedly emphasized in a webinar this week with stakeholders that the institution could not afford to be left behind while the vast majority of central banks worldwide make headway with their own CBDC research and development.

Considering the potentials cited for the project, CBN has noted that a CBDC would be beneficial for macro and growth management, cross-border trade support, and financial inclusion.

 According to CBN, potential benefits could still extend further ranging from higher efficiency for payments and remittances, better monetary policy transmission, improved tax revenue collection, and the facilitation of targeted social policies.

Alongside the Nigerian central bank, the Bank of Ghana is also moving rapidly towards the pilot stage for its own CBDC. The country has positioned itself as a pioneer in CBDC development on the continent and considers central bank-issued digital currencies to be superior to and less risky than other decentralized cryptocurrencies in the market.

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