Don’t look now, but Nigeria has its own CBDC in the works.
“The eNaira will be accompanied by a wallet sanctioned by the CBN that a user can either link to their bank account or pay as they go with a prepay option, according to the webpage,” writes Sebastian Sinclair for Coindesk this morning, naming the CBDC that Nigerians will soon be using.
Sinclair reports the webpage for the new electronic currency is currently up, and the central bank digital currency itself is supposed to be unrolled by October 1.
This new coin, Sinclair says, will be “denominated in the national currency,” which makes it sound like a stablecoin version of a CBBC directly handled by the central bank.
It’s also, according to Nigerian officials, designed to be both a “medium of exchange” and a “store of value.”
In other words, unlike Bitcoin and front-running decentralized cryptocurrencies, which have been historically used much more as investment products, the eNaira is intended to be something you can use to pay for goods and services, in a convenient way.
Opinions, Sinclair writes, have been mixed.
“Some argue its benefits of financial inclusion, while others still are concerned it would provide central banks with greater control over citizens’ financial rights through disintermediation with commercial banks,” Sinclair reports. “Still, the website claims the eNaira will cultivate economic growth, provide cheaper remittances, limit fraudulent behavior, and is secure, among other benefits for its use.”
In today’s environment, as China cracks down on all things crypto, national efforts to embrace the blockchain are also front and center. In addition to Nigeria’s play, we have El Salvador declaring Bitcoin to be, in effect, its national currency.
If you are invested in the crypto sector, keep an eye on how countries around the world are handling cryptocurrency regulations.