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Nigeria’s eNaira CBDC Website Goes Live

The Central Bank of Nigeria has launched the website for its central bank digital currency (CBDC), the eNaira, ahead of its official rollout on Oct 1.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has launched a website detailing its CBDC, the eNaira. Stating that the eNaira is both a medium of exchange and a store of value, the CBDC will be used in retail payments and remittances. Citizens can begin right away by downloading the app, which also features bank account integration.

The CBDC itself will launch on Oct 1, following the bank’s decision to send documents to local banks on the digital currency. The document describes the role that banks will play in the change. The asset will, of course, be legal tender and have a non-interest-bearing status. Customer and value-based transactions will be a maximum limit.

The central bank declares that the eNaira will boost financial inclusion, as well as local and international trade. The website features a section that shows a list of available merchants, though it is empty at the moment. Among the other features are a unified payment system, an account management system, contactless payments, and complete peer-to-peer payments.

Nigeria first announced a CBDC initiative in June 2021. The country has been cracking down on the cryptocurrency market, which is highly popular both in the region and the continent in general. It joins over 80 others seeking to launch, or at least research, their own CBDCs.

Nigeria’s tech focus showing demonstrable results

Nigeria is one of the most tech-savvy nations in Africa, with proof in the fact that its citizens are among the most active in the crypto market. It even has one of the highest rates of adoption of cryptocurrency, with 31.9% owning some cryptocurrency or the other.

It hasn’t all been smooth, however. The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission froze crypto proposals after a central bank ruling that asked for all crypto accounts to be closed. However, Nigeria’s VP then asked the central bank to regulate crypto as opposed to banning it.

The October launch will serve as a pilot for the CBDC, with a full launch expected by the end of 2021. The asset runs on the Hyperledger Fabric. The pilot will be one of many launched by governments in the months to come, all of whom are eager to bring in the benefits of blockchain technology.

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