A document from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reportedly been sent to the country’s banks, detailing its design for its soon-to-be-launched e-Naira digital currency and the roles assigned to participants in the rollout of the currency. The digital currency, which will be launched by Oct. 1, will have a legal tender and non-interest-bearing asset status while imposing a limit on both customer and value-based transactions.
Five stages have been identified as part of the e-naira rollout, with the first focusing on “issuing, distribution, redemption, as well as the destruction of the currency.” During the second stage, called the Financial Institution Suite, licensed financial institutions will be able to request currency and issue stable coins, while identifying suspicious activity across branches as part of an anti-money laundering program.
The third stage will involve the government processing digital payments made by customers and merchants, followed by businesses “providing low-cost business management software, POS, remote payment solutions, online capabilities, transaction analysis, and reconciliation” at the penultimate stage. Lastly, the Retail Consumer Suite, the last stage, will focus on the architecture of the digital currency, providing user-centered designs that enhance privacy and security.
As a result of a recent ban on cryptocurrency transactions, the CBN has recently faced backlash from the public over the announcement of the digital currency.
In February, the bank issued an order to financial institutions and deposit money banks asking for the immediate closure of all crypto-related accounts, due to “their unregulated and unlicensed status and their popularity with criminals seeking to launder money, evade taxes, deal in illegal trades and fund terrorism.”