August 2021, Bridgetown, Barbados –
fintech company, Bitt, is partnering with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to
roll out their digital currency (CBDC) to the largest economy on the continent
of Africa. The eNaira, a digital form of the official currency of Nigeria, will
initially be publicly available to a segment of Nigeria’s 211 million citizens
and residents later this year. The announcement was made by Governor of the
CBN, Godwin Emefiele, at the bank’s Abuja headquarters.
Known as the ‘Giant of Africa’, Nigeria is home to the continent’s
largest population and boasts a USD 514 billion economy. Remittances are an
integral part of life for many Nigerians, especially for the 23.7% of the
population who are unbanked. Figures from The World
Bank detail that remittances amounted to over
USD17.2 billion in 2020, however the costs and logistics associated with these
transactions can also be prohibitive for people living in remote parts of the
country. The eNaira will enable direct remittance payments between Nigerians
within and outside of the country.
The CBN contract’s bidding process received multiple international
submissions. All finalists were judged on product maturity, platform security,
AML/CFT compliance, scalability, privacy, interoperability, ability to execute,
and company leadership. Bitt’s proven Digital Currency Management System
(DCMS), currently licensed by national financial institutions in six countries
across Central America and the Caribbean, excelled in every category.
Leveraging this product will reduce the time required to deploy the necessary
applications for all stakeholders.
In his official statement, Chief Executive Officer of Bitt, Brian
Popelka, said “Bitt is proud to partner with the Central Bank of Nigeria to
launch the first live retail CBDC in the largest economy in Africa. We’re
especially proud to do so in a country that’s well known for its fintech
leadership. Digitizing the Naira will benefit the entire Nigerian financial
ecosystem. The financial and humanitarian benefits that our technology offers
will be transformative, especially in the lives of those 50 million unbanked
In choosing Bitt Inc, the CBN will rely on the company’s tested and
proven digital currency experience, which is already in circulation in several
Eastern Caribbean Countries. Bitt Inc. was key to the
development and successful launch of the
central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot of the Eastern
Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in April 2021.
Bitt is very excited to be entering the African market after many years of studying the region. The Bitt team has taken great inspiration from the most successful mobile money deployment in the world, mPesa in Kenya, and now seeks to provide powerful digital financial solutions for those wishing to transact in the Naira – both domestically and abroad.
Nigeria is well-positioned to become the first African nation to
publicly issue its own CBDC. The CBN will rely on Bitt’s previous experience to
secure that position. On this point, Popelka further commented, “Having worked
with diverse financial institutions, national banks and the central bank of a
multinational currency union, our team of experts is uniquely prepared to
partner with CBN to meet the challenge of bringing the eNaira to market.”
About the Central Bank
of Nigeria: The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the central bank and apex
monetary authority of Nigeria established by the CBN Act of 1958 and commenced
operations on July 1, 1959.
About Bitt Inc: Bitt
is a financial technology company providing digital currency solutions to
financial institutions, central banks and ecosystem participants worldwide.
Bitt is at the forefront of financial innovation, with a specialisation in
central bank digital currencies (CBDC). The company’s Digital Currency
Management System (DCMS) leverages blockchain-based distributed ledger
technology to introduce the benefits of the most efficient financial ecosystem
For more information
about Bitt, please visit www.bitt.com and follow us on LinkedIn at
Media contact: Chris Burnett Marketing and Communications Strategist Phone: (246) 232-8508 | E-mail: [email protected]