Nigeria’s eNaira CBDC Goes Live

The eNaira was developed by fintech company Bitt, whose digital currency management system is also behind the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s CBDC.

Oct 25, 2021 at 12:07 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 25, 2021 at 3:12 p.m. UTC

Nigeria’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the eNaira, is live following an announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

  • The official unveiling of the eNaira – designed to complement Nigeria’s physical currency, not replace it – took place Monday; it had been announced last week.
  • The eNaira was developed by fintech company Bitt, whose digital currency management system (DCMS) is also behind the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s CBDC.
  • Two applications for using the CBDC – eNaira speed wallet and eNaira merchant wallet – are available for download from the Google and Apple app stores.
  • The eNaira was originally slated for launch on Oct. 1, but was delayed in deference to the 61st anniversary of Nigerian independence that same day.
  • Some 500 million eNaira ($1.21 million) have already been minted, central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said at the official launch.
  • Nigeria’s government and central bank struggled with the rise of cryptocurrency in the country, leading to a ban on crypto transactions within the banking sector in February. Four months later, plans were announced to introduce the eNaira.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.