Nigeria has initially planned to launch its eNaira digital currency on Friday, but because of the country’s independence day celebrations, the Central Bank of Nigeria has decided to postpone it.
Nigeria which is Africa’s largest economy is set to follow China and others in adopting a central bank-backed digital currency as it looks to tap into the popularity of crypto and virtual money.
“The planned unveiling on October 1, 2021, has now been deferred due to other key activities lined up to commemorate the country’s 61st Independence Anniversary,” the CBN spokesman said in a statement on the bank’s Facebook page.
“The CBN and other partners were working round the clock to ensure a seamless process that will be for the overall benefit of the customer.”
What is Nigeria’s eNaira?
Nigeria has seen a boom of cryptocurrencies as people look for ways to avoid the weakening naira currency and counter soaring costs of living and unemployment in Africa’s most populous country.
On its official website that went live last week, the Nigerian Government said the eNaira is a Central Bank of Nigeria-issued digital currency that provides a unique form of money denominated in Naira. It reads:
“eNaira is a Central Bank of Nigeria-issued digital currency that provides a unique form of money denominated in Naira. eNaira serves as both a medium of exchange and a store of value, offering better payment prospects in retail transactions when compared to cash payments. eNaira has an exclusive operational structure that is both remarkable and nothing like other forms of central bank money.”
The currency will be held and managed on a distributed ledger, and can be used for remittance which includes cheaper diaspora remittance as it is universal – anybody can hold it.
It is unclear when the eNaira will officially be launched.