Nigeria Launches Digital Currency ‘To Drive Economic Growth’

Nigeria has launched a digital currency which the Central Bank of Nigeria says is a “major step forward in the evolution of money” in Africa’s most populous country, the Associated Press reported. President Muhammadu Buhari said at the launch Monday that the digital currency and the blockchain technology it uses can foster economic growth and increase the GDP of Nigeria’s economy, one of Africa’s biggest, by $29 billion over the next 10 years. The use of the Nigerian Central Bank Digital Currency “can help move many more people and businesses from the informal into the formal sector, thereby increasing the tax base of the country,” Buhari said, eight months after the West African nation began a crackdown on cryptocurrencies. The eNaira — whose motto is “Same naira, more possibilities” — is an equivalent of Nigeria’s paper naira currency and is regulated as an official tender by Nigeria’s Central Bank. Experts see the launch as a big step toward a cashless Nigerian society and speedy growth of the digital economy which has been a priority of Nigeria’s apex bank since 2012. Read more.