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Central Bank of Nigeria deputy governor, Folashodun Shonubi has claimed that the country’s upcoming central bank digital currency (CBDC) will be a “safer option from privately issued cryptocurrency.”

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He made the assertion at a virtual event organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). The deputy governor listed the safer options as payment system stability, faster and cheaper cross-border remittances.

“The central bank digital currency offers all the benefits of cash but in digital form. Every single digital currency is an electronic version of the cash, the legal tender. When you make a cash payment, settlement is done instantly; digital currencies entail the same promises and even more,” he explained.

When fully implemented, Shonubi said he expects to see “rapid inclusion rates” in the coming days. Also, when the CBDC rollout is complete, the e-naira will be distinguishable from privately issued cryptocurrencies that have so far “been used for investment.”

“For banks in developing nations, it will enhance their liquidity, efficiency in national remittances and challenge the high cost of remittances as the world rebounds in the post-pandemic. I am of the view that the era of CBDC promotes greater opportunities, and the central bank must be aware of the risks and mitigate them,” he noted.

The CBN, which expects to start the trial phase of its CBDC project in October, has routinely issued statements that reiterate the central bank’s desire to have a digital currency that competes with privately issued cryptos like bitcoin.

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