Nigeria Begins Pilot Program for Its Central Bank Digital Currency


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced Sunday that it will commence the pilot implementation of its digital currency dubbed eNaira on Monday Oct. 25 2021.

According to an official press release, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will unveil the country’s eNaira today at his official residence in Abuja, Nigeria. 

CBN originally scheduled the launch of the eNaira for Oct. 1, but was later postponed due to  the celebration of the country’s 61st anniversary of independence on that day. 

The launch today places Nigeria among the ranks of countries like China and the Bahamas that are testing or have launched a central bank digital currency. 

eNaira Promises Seamless Transactions

The county’s apex bank noted that the launch of a national digital currency is to ensure easy and seamless transactions to every locality within the country. The eNaire is intended to act as a compliment to physical notes and not a replacement. .

“The launch of the eNaira is a culmination of several years of research work by the Central Bank of Nigeria in advancing the boundaries of payments system in order to make financial transactions easier and seamless for every strata of the society,” the bank said.

Since the eNaira is a new product and one of the first CBDCs in the world, CBN noted in its release that it is working with relevant partners to put in place “structures to promptly address any issues that might arise from the pilot implantation” of the digital currency.

The bank chose Barbados-based firm Bitt Inc. as its technical partner in developing the eNaira.

Crypto Transactions Grow Despite Bank Ban

In early February, Coinfomania reported that CBN issued a circular instructing banks and other financial institutions in the country against offering banking services to crypto entities and investors.

The central bank further warned that banks and institutions that fail to adhere to the instructions will be dealt with according to the law.

Despite the ban, several reports confirm that the number of crypto peer-to-peer (P2P) trade in the country is on the rise, and has made Nigeria the largest Bitcoin  P2P market in Africa.

Incoming Regulations?

Meanwhile, according to a report last month, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it has set up a fintech unit that will come up with regulatory guidelines to help protect investors in the cryptocurrency industry.

Lamido Yuguda, SEC Nigeria’s Director General, noted in the report that the agency views cryptocurrencies as securities unless proven otherwise.

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