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Nigeria’s First Digital Currency, eNaira Hits One Million As CBN Launches Its Website

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Nigeria’s digital currency, eNaira has recorded over one million hits a few hours after its website was launched.

Nigeria's First Digital Currency, eNaira Hits One Million As CBN Launches Its Website

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched a website for the operations of the much-anticipated digital currency, eNaira, ahead of its official launch on Friday.

A few hours after the launch of its official website, www.enaira.com, on Monday, the digital currency recorded a milestone of over one million hits. Although some of the details on the website are yet to be hyperlinked, while some features are not yet active.

The eNaira is developed by a Barbados-based fintech company, Bitt Inc., with CBN owning a majority stake in the company once registered in Nigeria.

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What You Need To Know About eNaira

A statement on the website said the eNaira is a Central Bank of Nigeria-issued digital currency that will ensure easier financial transactions for users of eNaira.

It offers the opportunity for peer-to-peer payments which allow users to send money to one another through a linked bank account or card.

“eNaira is a Central Bank of Nigeria-issued digital currency that provides a unique form of money denominated in Naira. eNaira serves as both a medium of exchange and a store of value, offering better payment prospects in retail transactions when compared to cash payments.

“eNaira has an exclusive operational structure that is both remarkable and nothing like other forms of central bank money. There are several benefits from a central bank-issued digital currency in Nigeria, and this cuts across different sectors of, and concerns of the economy,” the statement reads.

The CBN had earlier stated that the eNaira is a legal tender just like the naira that must be accepted by all merchants and business outlets as a form of payment in the country.

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When Will eNaira Be Launched And How Will It Operate?

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said Nigerians should be able to download the eNaira app from either Google plays store or Apple app store after its unveiling on October 1, 2021.

“We have all the approvals and mandates to launch on October 1, but it is important to understand that eNaira is not a one-off, it’s a journey that starts on October 1,” Emefiele said during the last monetary policy committee meeting.

“From October 1, a Nigerian will be able to download the eNaira app from either Google Play Store or App Store, fund their eNaira wallet using their bank accounts or with cash at a registered agent, location.

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“If you are a bank customer and you have, say N10 million in your bank account, for your comfort of spending and making a purchase, you can tell the bank to load N2 million out of your N10 million into your wallet.

“So, your bank balance in physical cash drops to N8 million, while your e-wallet carries N2 million. With that, you can make purchases both within and across the country.

“There is so many variance of the eNaira. But this is where we would start because we are not going to pretend that there are not risks in opening your system up. We would look at the various products, determine the risk, determine the best way to mitigate the risk before we now open it up more and more,” Emefiele added.

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Speaking on why eNaira was developed by a Barbados-based fintech company, Bitt Inc., Emefiele said the CBN went through a “rigorous” vendor selection process and Bitt came first with an average of 82.3 per cent, scoring above the other 5. bidders.

Emefiele expressed optimism that the eNaira would bring about increased cross-border trade, accelerate financial inclusion and lead to cheaper and faster remittance inflow.

He said the digital money would lead to easier targeted social interventions, as well as improvement in monetary policy effectiveness, payment systems efficiency, and tax collection.

The launch of the eNaira comes a few months after the CBN banned the use of cryptocurrencies and directed banks to close all accounts belonging to crypto exchanges in Nigeria.

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