Nigeria's Central Bank Enlists Gluwa Nigeria to Boost eNaira Systems, Adoption

Adoption of the central bank digital currency pales in comparison to cash use in the country.

AccessTimeIconMar 7, 2024 at 1:19 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 10:51 p.m. UTC
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  • The Central Bank of Nigeria and Gluwa plan to link the eNaira and Credal blockchain API technology.
  • The arrangement will ensure easier loan origination, tracking, settlement and scoring for local fintech lenders.

The Central Bank of Nigeria is working with blockchain technology firm Gluwa Nigeria to make the eNaira digital currency's systems more efficient and boost adoption in the country of more than 226 million people.

The central bank plans to issue application programming interfaces (APIs) to Gluwa for integration with the company's Credal blockchain technology. APIs are software intermediaries that allow applications to talk to each other.

The "core objective is to harness the power of blockchain technology to enhance financial inclusion, improve eNaira functionality, and foster financial innovation," Gluwa said in a release shared with CoinDesk.

Connecting through Credal is intended to ensure easier loan origination, tracking, settlement, and credit scoring for local fintech lenders.

Nigeria has been trying to broaden acceptance of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) since its launch in 2021. The number of eNaira wallets increased more than 12-fold between October 2022 and March 2023 to 13 million and the value of transactions climbed 63% to 22 billion naira ($14 million) in the first four months of last year.

The country has a $220 billion informal economy that thrives on cash, and eNaira adoption has not caught up with cash use in Africa's most populous country in part owing to a lack of merchants that accept it.

UPDATE (March 8, 15:55 UTC): Rewrites first bullet point. An earlier version of the story said the central bank wanted the link.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Camomile Shumba

Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.

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