Nigeria, a country with one of the world’s highest cryptocurrency adoption rates, is set to become the first African nation to launch its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) today as President Muhammadu Buhari formally launches the eNaira.
- Nigeria’s CBDC, the eNaira, was initially scheduled to be launched on Oct. 1. The launch was delayed, however, to prepare for the country’s 61st Independence Day celebrations.
- In August, the Central Bank of Nigeria joined hands with Barbados-based fintech startup Bitt Inc. as technical partner for the CBDC project. The launch of the eNaira, which the CBN says is a culmination of several years of research “in advancing the boundaries of payments system in order to make financial transactions easier and seamless,” is the first phase of a CBDC pilot project called Project Giant. The eNaira will be a legal tender in the country and have non-interest-bearing CBDC status.