18 days after its launch, 448,000 consumer wallets have been created on the CBDC platform known as the eNaira from over 160 countries across the globe. The Central Bank of Nigeria reported that about 78,000 merchant wallets have also been created on the platform.
Transactions on the eNaira are about 17,000 which is worth over N62 million. The platform recorded almost 200,000 wallets downloads less than 24 hours after the launch of eNaira. This is an indication of growing enthusiasm for Africa’s first virtual currency, which has been described as a game-changer.
“It is a direct liability of the bank, a legal tender and will form part of the currency-in-circulation and will be at par with the physical naira,” CBN said.
The eNaira was officially launched on October 25, 2021, by President Muhammadu Buhari who believes the digital asset would boost Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $29 billion in the next decade. Nigeria is the first country in Africa and one of the first in the world to introduce its own digital currency.
The President said. “Indeed, some estimates indicate that the adoption of CBDC and its underlying technology, called blockchain, can increase Nigeria’s GDP by $29 billion over the next 10 years. CBDCs can also help increase remittances, foster cross border trade, improve financial inclusion, make monetary policy more effective, and enable the government to send direct payments to citizens eligible for specific welfare programmes.”
The president further assured his citizens of the safety and scalability of the CBDC, adding that the journey to create a digital currency for Nigeria began way back in 2017. The purpose of the research was to create a compelling case for the adoption of a virtual asset in the country to enable a more prosperous and inclusive economy for all Nigerians everywhere. CBN decided to implement its own CBDC and to name the digital currency, the eNaira, and the governor believes that this will make a significant positive difference to Nigeria and Nigerians.