The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) digital currency, eNaira, has continued to attract the interest of Nigeria’s banking public at home and across the world, with its total downloads hitting 694,000 exactly 95 days after it was unveiled.
A breakdown of the figures exclusively obtained by THISDAY yesterday showed that as of last Friday, total downloads via iPhone Operating System (iOS) stood at 136,000, while that of Android was 558,000.
In terms of consumer wallets, the data showed that at 33 per cent, Guaranty Trust Bank was ahead of others, just as Ecobank was presently leading in terms of merchant wallet downloads at 22 per cent.
“Downloads have continued to increase to almost 700,000. ENaira wallets were downloaded from North America to Australia and all over Africa,” the analysis stated.
Furthermore, it showed that the app was also downloaded in South America, Europe, Asia, and in almost all the countries in Africa.
President Muhammadu Buhari launched the digital currency on October 25, 2021.
Buhari had said with the eNaira, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was projected to rise by $29 billion in the next 10 years. He had stressed that Nigeria was the first country in Africa and one of the first in the world to introduce digital currency.
The president had stated, “Indeed, some estimates indicate that the adoption of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and its underlying technology, called blockchain, can increase Nigeria’s GDP by US$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.”
CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, also said the eNaira would support a resilient payment ecosystem, encourage rapid financial inclusion, reduce the cost of processing cash, enable direct and transparent welfare intervention to citizens, and increase revenue and tax collection.
Emefiele had added, “Therefore, the eNaira is Nigeria’s CBDC and it is the digital equivalent of the physical naira. As the tagline simply encapsulates, the eNaira is the same naira with far more possibilities.
“The eNaira – like the physical naira – is a legal tender in Nigeria and a liability of the CBN. The eNaira and naira will have the same value and will always be exchanged at one naira to one eNaira.”
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) noted recently that the eNaira had been “drawing substantial interest from the outside world” since it was unveiled.
However, IMF pointed out that, like digital currencies elsewhere, eNaira carried risks for monetary policy implementation, cyber security, operational resilience, and financial integrity and stability. It noted that although the digital currency was expected to increase financial inclusion and facilitate remittances, CBN should be prepared to manage the potential risk associated with managing a digital currency.
It stated that eNaira was the second central bank-backed digital currency fully open to the public after that of the Bahamas.
Culled from THISDAY