Africa’s first central bank digital currency goes live ahead of the October 1st launch

Exactly one week before the planned launch of the digital currency, the Central Bank of Nigeria (eNaira), official website has gone live.

Africa’s first central bank digital currency goes live ahead of the October 1st launch

Exactly one week before the planned launch of the digital currency, the Central Bank of Nigeria (eNaira), official website has gone live.

Interestingly, the website received over one million hits within 24 hours of going live,

The interest in the proposed digital currency is reflected in the development.

The website aims to make eNaira transactions easier, offers peer-to-peer payments that allow users to send money to one another through a linked bank account or credit card; allows customers to transfer money from their bank account to their eNaira account; allows them to view the balance of their eNaira wallet, check transaction history, and pay in stores by scanning QR codes.

To get started, customers can also scan the QR Code on the website.

The Governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, told a symposium of foreign investors in New York recently that eNaira would likely be rescheduled for October 4, 2021, because of activities relating to Nigeria's Independence Day on October 1.

"It would not be in the interests of the central bank if the event overshadowed the Independence Day celebrations," the Nigerian Central Bank governor said.

"Africa's first digital currency will be launched by us. Considering Nigeria is Africa's largest economy, this idea is novel since it will set the tone to say to Africa, we are ready to lead and we intend to do exactly that." Emefiele added.

In an attempt to set an example on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the ECOWAS central banks already work together on integrating trade, payments, and banking.

With its formal announcement of its partnership with global fintech company, Bitt Inc. as its technical partner for the project, the CBN recently took a major step towards the launch of its digital currency in line with global trends.

Several companies were evaluated by departmental directors and one Deputy Governor in line with the Public Procurement Act as part of the CBN's selection of the technical partner.

AML/CFT support; scalability; interface capability; platform security; and implementation experience were all factors that were considered during evaluation.

Among the benefits the CBN governor foresaw were increased cross-border trade, accelerated financial inclusion and cheaper and faster remittances.

As a result of digital money, he said, social interventions will be easier, monetary policy will be more effective, payment systems will be more efficient, and tax collection will be better.