Nigeria is said to be ready to launch its digital state currency, eNaira, very soon.
This has been confirmed by the president of the local central bank, Godwin Emefiele.
The words of the President of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), were reportedly spoken last Thursday. Godwin Emefiele stated that the launch is only a few days away, which is now well past. This suggests that the moment is now imminent.
Nigeria’s CBDC would allow to fight corruption and promote financial inclusion. The launch was supposed to take place as early as 1 October but was postponed.
Judging from the official website, however, everything seems to be ready.
The eNaira has an official website and a wallet and lends itself to being both a means of payment and a store of value.
The African state would be one of the first in the world to adopt a digital state currency in a country struggling with poverty. With this move, the government is capitalizing on the popularity of cryptocurrencies by offering its own that is, however, centralized.
Nigeria is among the countries with the highest number of Bitcoins traded. BTC is used as a means of payment but mostly for remittances, with adoption growing steadily. This testifies to how BTC has become an asset against the gradual devaluation of the Naira.
Features of the eNaira, Nigeria’s CBDC
On the official website, the main features of the eNaira are the following:
- inclusive economy,
- “proudly Nigerian”.
In fact, Nigeria has set out to not create another CBDC but to do something more, responding to the needs of the population:
“Organizations and individuals are seeking fast, safe, easy, and cheap means of payment, eNaira was minted to meet these pressing needs”.
eNaira is designed to be a medium of exchange and a store of value, but above all, it is intended to make transactions easier than cash.
Its aim is to enable economic growth through low or zero interest transactions.
It will also be particularly useful for remittances, which will be faster and cheaper. The fact that it is traceable prevents its use for illicit activities. Its infrastructure will be secure. Finally, it will allow for revenue, reducing the cost of money.
It will work through a special wallet. With a QR code it will be possible to make cashless payments. Above all, it aims to be universal.
Nigeria beats China
In the race for state cryptocurrencies, China seemed to be ahead, given the advanced stage of experimentation of the digital yuan. However, it seems that Nigeria has quietly moved ahead.
When the eNaira launches, the world will get to see how a population of 200 million will react to this innovation. This is a large sample that is already digitally accustomed. All that remains to be seen is whether Nigerians will convert to the digital format of their local currency or whether they will still prefer Bitcoin.