The Central Bank of Nigeria has joined a growing list of emerging markets betting on digital money, said President Muhammadu Buhari in televised speech at the launch.
“The adoption of the central bank digital currency and its underlying technology, called blockchain, can increase Nigeria’s gross domestic product by $29 billion over the next 10 years.”
The issuance of the digital currency, called the eNaira, comes after the central bank earlier in February outlawed banks and financial institutions from transacting or operating in cryptocurrencies as they posed a threat to the financial system.
Central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, are national currency — unlike their crypto counterparts, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are prized, in part, because they are not tied to fiat currency.
The eNaira will complement the physical Naira, which has weakened 5.6% this year despite the central bank’s efforts to stabilize the currency.