While the talks of central bank digital currencies have been on the table for a few years now, few countries actually took the steps to issue one. Nigeria, in turn, following extensive research and development, is finally ready to unveil the eNaira.
‘Same Naira, More Possibilities’
In a press release syndicated through mass media but issued on the official website of Nigeria’s Central Bank, the Director of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, revealed that the eNaira will be proclaimed official and launched today, October 25th.
Under the slogan “Same Naira, more possibilities,” the release reveals that President Muhammadu Buhari will formally unveil the CBDC at the State House, Abuja.
The launch of the eNaira is a culmination of several years of research work by the Central Bank of Nigeria in advancing the boundaries of payments system in order to make financial transactions easier and seamless for every strata of the society.
The digital currency should become active today, following a “series of engagements with relevant stakeholders including the banking community, fintech operators, merchants…”
With this, Nigeria becomes one of the first countries globally to launch its own central bank digital currency.
For Better or Worse
One of the common misconceptions about a CBDC is that it is, in some way, related to cryptocurrencies when, in fact, the only thing they might share in common is the fact that they’re digital.
A CBDC, in the shape and form that most countries explore it, is nothing but a digital version of their fiat currency where the Central Bank is still in complete control. It’s not decentralized in any sense of the word, as there’s still a single authority that’s shaping the monetary policy and regulation in a way that directly impacts the status of said central bank digital currency.
While this could be considered as a significant step forward in terms of technological developments, it’s unlikely to do something about some of the growing concerns in the country.
As CryptoPotato reported last year, the country has seen no shortage of authoritarian acts on behalf of its Government and law enforcement. This is perhaps a good explanation for the fact that Nigeria has become a hub for Bitcoin trading and usage.
In light of the above, the launch of the eNaira could also be seen as an attempt by the government to suppress the potential future influence that cryptocurrencies might have.