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THE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & LifestyleTHE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & Lifestyle

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Nigeria Launches eNaira Amid Hope, Scepticism

Nigeria launches eNaira amid hope, scepticism - and plenty of uncertainty
The Central Bank of Nigeria's logo is seen on its headquarters building in Abuja, Nigeria, January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo

On Monday, LAGOS, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Nigeria became the initial African nation to start a digital currency – the eNaira – a move its heads said will expand the path to banking, facilitate more remittances, and even improve the economy by billions of dollars.

In October, Africa’s most populated nation joins the Bahamas, the first to start a general-purpose central bank digital money, known as the Sand Dollar. China has ongoing trials, and Switzerland and the Bank of France have declared Europe’s first cross-border test.

But critics and cryptocurrency users in the continent’s biggest economy say the fact that there are more questions than answers regarding the eNaira – and a large amount of worry over the consistency of Central Bank (CBN) rules – means the government faces a difficult path to make the eNaira a success.

During Monday’s launch, Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said that there had been “overwhelming interest and encouraging response,” adding that 33 banks, 2,000 customers, and 120 merchants had already registered successfully with the platform, which is available via an app on Apple and Android.

He said that some 200 million nairas’ worth of eNaira, which will maintain parity with the traditional currency, has been issued to financial institutions. President Muhammadu Buhari said the use of the currency could grow the economy by $29 billion over ten years, enable direct government welfare payments and even increase the tax base.

Nigeria’s young, tech-savvy population has eagerly adopted digital currencies. As a result, cryptocurrency use has grown quickly despite a Central Bank ban in February on banks and financial institutions dealing in or facilitating transactions in them.

He said that some 200 million nairas’ worth of eNaira, which will maintain parity with the traditional currency, has been issued to financial institutions. President Muhammadu Buhari said the use of the currency could grow the economy by $29 billion over ten years, enable direct government welfare payments and even increase the tax base.

Nigeria’s young, tech-savvy population has eagerly adopted digital currencies. As a result, cryptocurrency use has grown quickly despite a Central Bank ban in February on banks and financial institutions dealing in or facilitating transactions in them.


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