Central Bank of Nigeria in Talks With Blockchain Platform to Revive eNaira 

The Central Bank of Nigeria wants full control of the eNaira, and is in early talks with blockchain platform R3 to develop a new system to support the digital currency.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) continues to develop its central bank digital currency (CBDC), the eNaira, but this time it’s calling for backup. According to a Bloomberg report, CBN is in negotiations with new “technical partner” to develop a new and improved system to manage eNaira. According to people familiar with the matter, Nigerian financial authorities have discussed these plans with New York-headquartered R3.

New software for the eNaria will be created to allow the Central Bank of Nigeria to have complete control over the initiative; however, the unnamed source said the matter is confidential. The effort to create the eNaira began in 2021 with the help of the financial software company, Bitt. According to the report, the new partner won’t immediately take Bitt’s role but will help phase in total control for the Nigerian central bank.

According to Bitt, it knows that the Central Bank of Nigeria works with different partners to work with different partners for technological innovation. It confirms that it is still working closely with CBN and is “currently developing additional features and improved functionality”.

Central Bank of Nigeria eNaira’s Plan Failing

Although it is one of the first countries to have launched a CBDC, Nigeria’s eNaira got off to a sluggish start, with low adoption.  According to some reports, the project is not progressing, with only 0.5% of Nigerians using the CBDC.

In January, a Nigerian innovator launched the country’s first active Bitcoin Lightning node. Shortly before that, the government announced its plan to create a legal framework for stablecoins and Initial coin offerings. Nigeria is one of more than 90 countries exploring the use of CBDCS. Others include Russia and Japan, both of which have plans to roll out their Currencies before the summer. The city of San Francisco is also looking into the possibility of developing a CBDC system. However, there is active pushback against CBDCS from activists who call them ‘surveillance” tools.