Nigerian Central Bank to launch digital currency- eNaira

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Africa’s largest economy (Nigeria) is set to follow China and others in adopting a central bank-backed digital currency as it looks to tap into the popularity of crypto and virtual money.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will launch the eNaira, its digital currency, in a couple of days from now, Governor Godwin Emefiele told a conference on Thursday.
He said this would make Nigeria “one of the first countries in Africa, and indeed the globe, to adopt the digitisation of its national currency”.
Many Nigerians are optimistic about the digital currency.
Local reports say the eNaira website recorded more than one million hits in the hours ahead of the initial launch
The CBN promises easier financial transactions, offers peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, allows users to check balances and view transaction history, and make in-store payments with an eWallet through QR code scans
The Central bank named Barbados-based Bitt Inc as its technical partner in developing the eNaira.
Authorities and experts say the eNaira will ease monetary transactions and improve long-term value for Nigeria’s currency, compared to its paper counterpart, which has hit its lowest value since 2003.
Digital strategist, Daniel Yerimah says the eNaira will also help address money laundering and corruption.
Nigeria has seen a boom of cryptocurrencies as people look for ways to avoid the weakening naira currency and counter soaring costs of living and unemployment in Africa’s most populous country.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele has said in recent speeches that there would be numerous benefits.
“We are going to be the first country in Africa to launch a digital currency,”.
“It is a novel idea because we think it will facilitate trade. Nigeria being the biggest economy in Africa, this will set the tone to tell Africa that we are ready to lead, and we would indeed lead in trade, and we would make sure that happens.”
He added that his hopes are that a digital currency could help cross-border trade, allowing more financial inclusion and helping to engender more affordable, quick remittances, according to the report. He also said there could be targeted social interventions and more effective monetary policy, payment systems and tax collection.
He said central bankers in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are working on collaborations to integrate trade, payment and banking systems, in order to “set example on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),”

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