A number of countries across the world over the past months have considered creating their digital currencies, which has been on the increase with the coming of cryptocurrencies.
One of the features of cryptocurrencies that have been seen as a disadvantage by different governments across the world is the lack of control; this has made many countries resorted to creating a digital currency they can monitor and have control over it.
For this reason, Nigeria, through the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, joined 80 other countries in the quest to have its digital currencies.
According to the records, the Bahamian Sand Dollar is the first Central Bank Digital Currency CBDC to become widely available; it has also been revealed that more than 14 countries are in the beginning stage while five countries have fully launched.
The countries that have fully launched their CBDC include; Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, and Grenada; and Nigeria is expected to join this list soon.
According to the reports, the Nigerian digital currency known as E-Naira is expected to be unveiled on the 1st of October when the country celebrates its 61st independence day.
The reports revealed that the idea to put E-naira in motion was in August 2021 after Fintech company Bitt Inc. was announced as the technical partner of the CBN.
While some Nigerians have reacted to the choice of a foreign fintech to help with the launch of the E-naira instead of a local fintech, since Nigeria is home to one of the best fintech companies in Africa, the choice of Bitt Inc. is owing to its expertise when it comes to CBDC.
Bitt Inc. was massively involved in developing and launching the CBDC pilot of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in April 2021.
Another thing to know about E-Naira is that it is not a cryptocurrency; instead, it would be run in the form of a wallet for digital currency.
E-Naira is not an investment like other cryptocurrencies; this is because no interest would be earned on it.
Unlike Cryptocurrencies which are decentralised, the central bank will supervise and monitor E-naira.
Nigerians who are interested in E-Naira would need to have the National Identity Number NIN, which is the minimum criteria that will be required to set up an account.
There will also be easy transfer from a bank account to an E-naira wallet and vice versa. Nigerians will also be able to send money easily within and outside Nigeria.
While the CBN will design the e-Naira, customers and businesses will access it through various financial institutions.
A study of the E-naira show it is another means of payment through the internet, and Nigerians are already used to something of that nature thanks to the cashless policy already in place.
The only feature that seems to be a bright side about the E-naira is that it would be devoid of any charges; this means transactions via the wallet will be free of charge, unlike the regular banking transactions with different charges.
There are, however, speculations that it wouldn’t be free for long as there are beliefs that financial institutions will find ways to infuse charges.
As October 1st draws closer, Nigerians anticipate the launch of the E-naira.