The main website for Nigeria’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) has gone live, indicating that the launch of the eNaira digital currency is on track for Oct. 1.
Last month, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sent a document to local banks detailing the design of its soon-to-be launched virtual currency, with information on the roles assigned to participants involved in the currency rollout.
The CBDC will have a legal tender and non-interest-bearing asset status, with both customer and value-based transactions capped at a certain limit.
According to information provided on the eNaira website, the digital currency’s “functionality delivers speedy, safe, and simple trading and transactional opportunities to customers and end-users.”
Four core features of the eNaira are listed on the website, including a unified payment system allowing customers to easily move money from their bank account to their eNaira wallet; a bank account management system through which customers can monitor their eNaira wallet; a contactless payment feature that users can employ to make in-store purchases; and peer-to-peer payment feature allowing funds transfer through a linked bank account or card.
In general, CBDCs can cut the costs of cross-border payments in half while significantly reducing the time needed for cross-border payments to clear.
That could be why interest in CBDCs is rising rapidly around the world. A Bank of International Settlements (BIS) poll of central banks determined that close to 86% of respondents are looking into the possibility of launching CBDCs, while 60% were trying out the technology and 14% were undertaking trial projects.
In addition to speeding up cross-border payments and making them less expensive, CBDCs could increase financial inclusion.