On the 25th of October, 2021, the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari launched Nigeria's digital currency at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Now, it can be recalled that on the 5th of February, this same year, the Central Bank of Nigeria released a circular addressed to all banks and financial institutions in the country with a directive that prohibited the carrying out of cryptocurrency transactions and facilitating payments in cryptocurrency.
It was quite surprising that the same government authority that banned and outlawed cryptocurrency in the country launched a project tagged "Project Giant" on the 24th of June, 2021. The project's aim was to produce and issue a government regulated digital currency in Nigeria.
The eNaira is a digital currency owned and regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria. According to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the digital currency will share the same value as the country's local currency, Naira.
1. It is not a cryptocurrency: although the eNaira is a digital currency, the fact that it is controlled by the Central Bank of Nigeria, makes it a lot different than other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The eNaira is only a digital extension of Nigeria's fiat (local) currency, Naira. That means its value is set at par with the country's official currency.
2. Blockchain: though not a cryptocurrency, the eNaira is built on a blockchain technology. Which means it will be difficult if not impossible to create fake eNaira, thus, reducing the rate of fraudulent activities with fake fiat currencies both local and foreign.
3. Issued and regulated by the CBN: one feature that differentiates the eNaira from regular cryptocurrencies is the fact that it is controlled, issued and regulated by the central bank of Nigeria, similar to the Chinese digital renminbi and the Swedish e-krona. It is a digital version of the paper Naira currency.
4. Fully online: eNaira is fully digital currency, it is your regular Naira, only online. Unlike digital banking though, you do not need to go to a physical agent to deposit money into your eNaira wallet, your can easily make transfers from your bank directly to your Wallet. You can also receive payments for services, buy and sell goods using eNaira.
5. Is still subject to online attacks: be that as it may, the eNaira is still a digital product, it is online which means your data is still subject to online attacks. Not only attacks from hackers but also attacks from malicious software. Users of the eNaira are advised to do their best to secure their data online.
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