Nigeria and Ghana are set to adopt a central bank digital currencies, after Central banks in both countries partnered with foreign financial tech companies to create digital versions of their currencies.
The Bank of Ghana is partnering with German firm Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) to pilot the e-Cedi. G+D will provide the technology that will be tested in a trial phase with local banks, payment service providers, consumers and others.
On the other hand, Nigeria selected global financial technology company Bitt Inc. for its Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) launch known as “Project Giant” after more than three years of research into the digital currency.
Nigeria will launch its eNaira digital currency on 1st October 2021, while Ghana will trial e-Cedi from this month.
The new eNaira will be issued by the CBN as legal tender like the current naira currency and will operate on the Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain. It will also follow the official exchange rate.
Thus, starting from October 1, customers will be able to download the eNaira app and fund their mobile wallets using their existing bank accounts.
CBN governor Godwin Emefiele says the eNaira will benefit Nigeria’s economy in many ways, from cross-border trade to making remittance inflows more efficient.
China became the first major economy to pilot a digital currency last year. Since then, five countries have launched digitised currencies, according to a Central Bank Digital Currencies tracker by American think-tank Atlantic Council. Other African countries exploring CBDCs include Kenya, South Africa, and Rwanda.
Nigeria climbed two steps this year to rank sixth globally in crypto adoption, according to blockchain data platform Chainalysis.