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The Central Bank of NIGERIA on Monday launched a digital currency designed to be used with its physical currency. ENaira’s exit was officially announced via a press release issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
A central bank digital currency is a type of cryptocurrency controlled by a country’s central bank. More than 100 countries, including the United States and China, are studying the development of a CBDC, according to the IMF. Virtual money, dubbed eNaira, is backed and issued by the country’s umbrella bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Like most governments, Nigeria is introducing virtual currency because it is more cost effective than cash, helps unbanked people have easier access to cash, and can, in a way, limit activities. illegal.
Media said the CBN chose Barbados-based Bitt Inc in August to develop and deploy the digital currency. The company has a proven track record of helping the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (Eccu) design and launch DCash, the digital currency used by Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia – four of the five countries that have fully launched their own CBDCs.
On September 27, the CBN launched the eNaira website, detailing the necessary information on how Nigerians can access and use virtual currency. As a first step, Nigerians will need to download the eNaira mobile app from the Apple Store or the Play Store. They can also choose to scan a QR code on the website to access the service. After registration, users must register and create a wallet – called a Speed Wallet – to store, send, and receive money. Several levels of wallets are available on the platform for different users with or without a bank account and different levels of identification.
The website lists four main features of eNaira: a unified payment system that allows customers to transfer money from their eNaira wallet; a bank account management function that allows users to check balances and transaction history; a contactless payment service allowing users to make in-store payments by scanning QR codes; and P2P payments, in which users send money to each other through a linked bank account or card. This is a positive development from Nigeria, and at the same time there is
the fear surrounding how they might be used by governments with a history of monitoring or attempting to monitor their citizens. This will be the next challenge for Nigeria.