JUST IN: CBN finally launches Digital Currency, mints N500m
TECHDIGEST – The Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) known as the eNaira has taken off with over N500m of the currency minted so far.
Speaking at the launch of the digital currency in Abuja on Monday, Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, explained that 33 banks have been fully integrated and live on the platform disclosed that over 2.5 million people visit the website daily.
He said another N200 million has been issued to financial institutions and over 2,000 customers have been onboarded and 120 merchants have successfully registered on the eNaira platform.
Immediately after the launch, Emefiele revealed that “customers who download the digital currency Speed Wallet App will be able to perform the following: onboard and create their wallet; fund their eNaira wallet from their bank account; transfer eNaira from their wallet to another wallet and make payment for purchases at registered merchant locations.”
“will continue to refine, fine-tune and upgrade the eNaira” and he assured that “Nigerians should expect to see additional functionalities in the coming months”.
Some of the additional functionalities include: accessibility and onboarding of customers without BVN and the use of the eNaira on the phone without the internet to further drive financial inclusion, making Nigeria one of the first countries in the world to deploy the CBDC via USSD on phones without relying on internet connectivity.
Another feature that will be deployed by the eNaira is the “onboarding of revenue collection agencies to increase and simplify collections and the creation of sector- specific tokens to support the Federal Government’s social programmes and distribution of targeted welfare schemes in a bid to lift millions out of poverty by 2025”.
The central bank over the bank said that President Muhammadu Buhari was scheduled to formally unveil the eNaira, on Monday 25 October 2021, at the State House, Abuja.
The launch of the eNaira is a culmination of several years of research work by CBN in advancing the boundaries of payments system in order to make financial transactions easier and seamless for every strata of the society.
In a statement on its website, the CBN said: “following series of engagements with relevant stakeholders including the banking community, fintech operators, merchants and indeed, a cross section of Nigerians, the CBN designed the digital currency, which shall be activated on Monday, October 25, 2021
“The eNaira, therefore, marks a major step forward in the evolution of money and the CBN is committed to ensuring that the eNaira, like the physical Naira, is accessible by everyone.
“Given that the eNaira is a journey, the unveiling marks the first step in that journey, which will continue with a series of further modifications, capabilities and enhancements to the platforms.
“The CBN will continue to work with relevant partners to ensure a seamless process that will benefit every user, particularly those in the rural areas and the unbanked population.
“Since the eNaira is a new product, and amongst the first CBDCs in the world, we have put a structure to promptly address any issue that might arise from the pilot implementation of the eNaira.
Accordingly, following Monday’s formal launch by the President, the Bank will further engage various stakeholders as we enter a new age consistent with global financial advancement. The theme of the eNaira is: “Same Naira, more possibilities”