CBN Sets To Launch Digital Currency

Godwin Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced its plan to launch digital currency.

The apex bank stated that it would soon announce the date for the launch which will be fully introduced by the end of the year.

CBN Director, Information Technology, Rakiya Mohammed made this known while addressing journalists at the end of the virtual Bankers’ Committee meeting on Thursday.

By this development, the CBN will be introducing currency, in electronic form.

Recalled in February, Apex bank issued directives to banks to close accounts of persons or entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions.

The CBN then warned that cryptocurrencies pose the risk of loss of investments, money laundering, terrorism financing, illicit fund flows and other criminal activities.

Giving details of the issue, Mohammed said the apex bank for over two year has been exploring the technology for digital currency and has made tremendous progress.

She added that the apex bank’s intention to introduce digital currency was to make remittances travel easier from abroad to Nigeria.

According to her, the digital currency would accelerate the ability to meet the target, regardless of one’s country of residence.

She said, “The digital currency would be accessible to all Nigerians. Just like everybody has access to cash, everybody will have access to the central bank’s digital currency. Let me state categorically that cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and the rest of them are not under the control of the central bank; they are purely private decisions that individuals make.

“We have spent over two years studying this concept of central bank’s digital currency and we have identified the risks. And it is one of the reasons why I said we are setting up a central governance structure that would involve all industry stakeholders to access all the risks as we continue on this journey.

“Very soon we would make an announcement on the date for the launch and by the end of the year we should have the digital currency.”

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