Nigeria’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) the eNaira, has gone 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 at the State House in Abuja.
Following the launch today, Nigeria becomes the sixth country to launch a centralised national electronic money.
The other five countries that have fully launched a digital currency are the Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, and Grenada.
reports has that the eNaira was developed by fintech company Bitt, whose Digital Currency Management System (DCMS) is also behind the East Caribbean 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.
At the launch, Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefile said, some 500 million eNaira has already been minted.
In a note before the launch on its website CBN stated that eNaira wallet offers a great way of making purchases with retailers on-site, transferring or sending money while tracking rewards programs.
The statement added that Nigerians can link the e-wallet to their bank account or pay as you go with a prepay option with a promise of an embedded security token system that makes information unreadable to fraudsters as tokens are randomly generated every time you make payment