Nigeria to Launch a Pilot for Its CBDC in October

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After four years of research, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will finally roll out a pilot program for its own digital currency on October 1st, 2021. The CBDC project, named “GIANT,” will run on the modular blockchain framework Hyperledger Fabric.

Nigeria Does Not Want to Fall Behind

During a recent webinar, the Central Bank of Nigeria revealed that it had set a clear date for launching a pilot for its CBDC – October 1st. The information technology director of the CBN – Rakiya Mohammed – highlighted the move as the institution spent four years researching and developing the project.

The pilot program will reportedly come under the name of “GIANT” and will run on the permissioned blockchain infrastructure Hyperledger Fabric. Additionally, Mohammed noted that the CBN could administer a proof of concept before the end of 2021.

The top Nigerian bankers reminded during the webinar that around 80% of the central banks around the globe were currently attempting to issue their own CBDC.

With the help of this future project, Nigeria hopes to focus on growing regional problems such as monetary policy effectiveness, revenue tax collection, improved payment efficiency, remittance improvement, financial inclusion, and targeted social intervention. Furthermore, the CBN pointed out that an e-naira would enable cross-border trade facilitation.

Nigerians Love Digital Assets

Nigeria is one of the leading cryptocurrency markets in Africa, as millions of the nation’s young residents use digital assets in an attempt to solve their financial problems.

Not long ago, though, the CBN imposed restrictions on trading with virtual currencies, urging local banks to stop servicing bitcoin clients. The institution explained that many criminal organizations use the asset to facilitate money laundering and even finance terrorism. However, a few weeks later, the central bank changed its stance and announced that it is okay with cryptocurrencies and is not discouraging people from trading with them.

And while many expected that the hurdle would threaten and reduce the size of the market, such a thing did not occur. Nigerians continued to remain bullish, and the country emerged as the biggest peer-to-peer market for Paxful amid the CBN’s prohibition. Over 1.5 million local platform users have reportedly hit a remarkable trading volume of $1.5 billion.

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