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Nigeria Develops a New Digital Currency.


Nigeria’s Central Bank launched a digital currency on Monday that is designed to be used alongside its physical currency. The release of eNaira was officially announced via a press release issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

A central bank digital currency is a type of cryptocurrency that’s controlled by a country’s central bank. More than 100 countries, including the US and China, are exploring the development of a CBDC, according to the IMF.

The first CBDC to launch in Africa, eNaira was developed by Bitt, a Barbados-based fintech company that also developed a CBDC called DCash for the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank earlier this year. Medici Ventures, a venture fund initially formed as a subsidiary of Overstock.com, purchased a controlling interest in Bitt. Medici Ventures is now part of a limited partnership controlled by Overstock.com and Pelion Venture Partners, a venture capital firm.

“Overstock has always focused on developing and growing new and emerging technologies,” Overstock CEO Jonathan Johnson said in a statement to CNET. “In 1999, that emerging technology was the internet and e-commerce. Several years ago, we formed Medici Ventures as a subsidiary to focus on another emerging and world-changing technology — blockchain.”

Overstock.com, an online store that sells furniture and home appliances, became the first major retailer to accept Bitcoin payments worldwide in 2014. Overstock’s interest in crypto has persisted, with its subsidiary investing in more than 20 blockchain startups since then. According to Johnson, there is “no direct connection” between Bitt’s business and Overstock’s core e-commerce business.