Nigeria Launches Digital Currency eNaira

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Oct. 25 launched the country’s official digital currency as it aims to digitize payments in Africa’s largest economy.

The eNaira is the first central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Africa and is currently the second largest pilot next to China’s digital yuan.

The CBDC will complement Nigeria’s physical currency, the Naira, and will be part of the central bank’s circulation as legal tender. The move, according to the CBN, will help lessen transaction costs associated with cash.

CBN Governor Governor Godwin Emefiele said that around 500 million eNaira ($1.21 million) have already been minted prior to the launch.

Fintech company Bitt, which was behind the East Caribbean Central Bank’s digital currency DCash, carried out the development of the eNaira. It will operate on the Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain.

The launch of the official digital currency came months after the CBN outlawed banks from transacting cryptocurrencies, saying they were threats to the financial system.

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