The Bank of Tanzania is said to be planning to introduce a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, to the African country after neighboring countries announced similar initiatives.

Bank of Tanzania Governor Florence Luga said Thursday that Tanzania plans to follow Nigeria’s lead by publishing its own central bank currencies, according to a Bloomberg report on Friday. Luga allegedly said the central bank had “already started preparations” for the digital shilling, Tanzania’s currency since 1966.

In preparation for the launch of the CBDC, the governor said that Tanzania is also planning to expand research on digital currencies and strengthen the capacity of central bank officials. If successful, Tanzania will be included in a select group of countries that are currently exploring the possibility of CBD deployment.

Many industry experts are looking at China leading the launch of the central bank digital currency coming from the major global economy. The country’s central bank has been conducting trials in major cities since April 2020 and is planning to conduct a major trial at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Luji said the initiative by the Central Bank of Tanzania was prompted by Nigeria’s launch of the central bank digital currency, eNaira, last month. The CBDC is the second fully publicly available after the Bahamas became the first country in the world to launch a central bank digital currency in October 2020.

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Cryptocurrencies are largely banned in Tanzania following a directive from the country’s central bank in November 2019, which stated that digital assets are not recognized by local law. However, the Bank of Tanzania is said to be working to lift the ban after President Samiya Solo Hassan said in June that the country should prepare for cryptocurrency.

Source: CoinTelegraph