NIRSAL MFB, CBN

By Nkiruka Nnorom

AS the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) readies to launch the planned digital currency, eNaira, industry experts have advised the CBN and other central banks around the world that are also muting the idea to build flexible and sustainable structures that work with different countries.

The CBN had gone back to the drawing board after postponing the launch of the eNaira originally scheduled for last weekend, citing the clash with events lined up for the country’s 61st independence anniversary.

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The experts spoke at a virtual event organised by  Celo,  a global mobile-first payments infrastructure company, in partnership with global media company, Forbes, titled: “The Future of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and Cryptocurrency”.

Jim Cunha, Executive Vice President, Secure Payments & FinTech, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, speaking, emphasised the need for central banks to consider privacy in their quest to adopt digital currencies.

“As countries adopt the idea of CBDCs, we should build flexible and sustainable structures that work with different countries according to the problems they are trying to solve. We must also think of “Privacy” when we talk about CBDCs,” he said.

Also speaking, Aliu Musa, Ecosystem Lead for  Celo  in Nigeria, said the the launch of the eNaira website by the Central Bank of Nigeria is a step in the right direction and “we hope to see more central banks as well as other actors in the central banking space start testing various designs and prototypes of CBDC, be it account or token based.

“Account-based CBDCs work like digital bank accounts, but the accounts are held by the central bank rather than a commercial bank. The value is equivalent to the balance of the account, and the key concern is identification, which will correctly link payers and payees, and check that the payer has sufficient funds to make the transaction.”

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