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Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency e-Naira Gain Traction

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eNaira

According to Governor Godwin Emefiele, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) digital currency, the eNaira, which was officially revealed on Monday, has garnered immense interest and a positive response from both within and beyond Nigeria, with 33 banks fully integrated on the platform. The CBN has successfully minted $500 million, with N200 million going to financial institutions, according to Emefiele, who spoke at President Buhari’s historic launch in Abuja.

In addition, over 2,000 clients have been added to the eNaira platform, and over 120 merchants have successfully enrolled. Since its launch, the eNaira website has had approximately 2.5 million daily views. Customers who download the eNaira Speed Wallet App will be able to complete the onboarding process and build their wallet, locate their eNaira wallet from their bank account, transfer eNaira from one wallet to another, and make payments at registered merchant locations.

In terms of maintaining a robust payment system, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) feels that the eNaira will make a big difference to Nigeria and Nigerians. The eNaira will also lower the cost of processing currency, allowing for more direct and transparent welfare interventions for citizens, as well as increased revenue and tax collection, easier diaspora remittances, lower the cost of financial transactions, and improved payment efficiency.

Governor Godwin Emefiele outlined these advantages during the historic debut in Abuja, saying that Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is the first in Africa and a digital version of the actual Naira. 

What is eNaira?

The eNaira is the same Naira with considerably more possibilities, Emefiele asserted emphatically, guaranteeing that the new payment system is one of the most robust in the world, sufficiently safeguarded, and thus nothing to worry about.

In 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) began an intensive study, consultations, identification of use cases, and testing of the CBDC idea in a Sandbox environment, in response to increased interest in Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) around the world.

The goal of the study was to provide a strong argument for the introduction of a digital currency in Nigeria so that all Nigerians can benefit from a more successful and inclusive economy.

Following the completion of preliminary research, the CBN’s researchers and experts were able to clearly establish that a digital currency will promote a more paperless, inclusive, and digital economy, complementing the successes of prior policy initiatives and our rapidly increasing payment systems.

As a result, the CBN decided to create its own CBDC, dubbed the eNaira. Like the physical Naira – eNaira is a legal tender in Nigeria and a liability of the CBN, which will have the same value and always be exchanged at 1 naira to 1 eNaira

To reduce the risk of the process, the CBN has carefully considered the entire payments and financial architecture, and has structured the eNaira to complement and improve these ecosystems, as well as implementing security protections and policies to ensure the financial system’s integrity.

To maintain the integrity and stability of Nigeria’s payment system, strict adherence to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations would be enforced, according to Emefiele.

The eNaira, like other digital revolutions, is a journey, and Nigerians should expect more features in the coming months. Accessibility and onboarding of consumers without BVN, as well as the usage of the eNaria on the phone without access to the internet, are among them. 

Nigeria will be one of the first countries in the world to implement the CBDC using USSD on phones, bypassing the need for internet access. The CBN also plans to use the eNaira platform to onboard revenue collection agencies in order to increase and simplify collections, as well as to create sector-specific tokens to support the Federal Government’s social programs and distribution of targeted welfare schemes in order to lift millions of people out of poverty by 2025.

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Crypto Assets

Cryptographers want to take back the term “Crypto”

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When the term Crypto is employed, it’s usually in relation to bitcoin, ethereum or different cryptocurrencies. According to Merriam -Webster’s dictionary, it additionally refers to cryptography.

Cryptography is “the computerized coding and decryption of information”. Because of the meaning of the word being seized by digital currencies, cryptographers have taken to social media, created t-shirts and hoodies to state “crypto suggests that cryptography”.

Amie Stepanovich, administrator of semiconducting material Flatirons Center at the University of Colorado grad school and creator of the pro-cryptography T-shirts, spoke to the Guardian, saying:

“Crypto for many years has been used as shorthand and as a prefix for things associated with cryptography. In fact, within the term cryptocurrency, the prefix crypto refers back to cryptography.”

But in the past years, the term Crypto has now been peculiar to cryptocurrencies as a lot of companies and organizations dealing in cryptocurrency will prefer to refer to themselves as crypto companies. A typical example is Crypto.com, a website for trading and storing cryptocurrencies. 

The renaming of Los Angeles Lakers home stadium to Crypto.com Arena may be a win for cryptocurrency fans however it strikes a blow against the world’s original meaning. The name reflects the arena’s new support agreement with a Singapore-based cryptocurrency commerce platform. 

That will be excellent news for cryptocurrency fanatics – however maybe not such a lot for one more faction in the digital landscape: cryptographers.

Another fashionable term crypto is employed for is Crypto.com, that is the world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency platform. However, Matt Blaze, a mortal and research worker of cryptography and McDevitt chair of engineering and law at Georgetown University closely-held the Crypto.com domain in 1993.

Blaze originally refused to sell the naming rights to consumers although some crypto connected domain names were being sold-out for an outsized quantity of cash.

Blaze tweeted in 2018 “I suppose career cryptocurrencies “crypto” may be a poor selection, with unhealthy consequences for each cryptography and cryptocurrencies.”

However, the name was eventually sold-out, and currently if you move to Crypto.com you’re greeted by the crypto platform’s web site and their current advert that includes Matt friend.

Stepanovich, realises that crypto is heavily related to cryptocurrencies presently, but she realises history is on the aspect of cryptographers as she said: “The study of crypto has been around forever.”

There have been global debates over both cryptography – for example, questions over whether chat services should offer “backdoors” that skirt encryption – and the regulation of cryptocurrency.

“There is a need to distinguish between those two areas to avoid absolutely foreseeable confusion,” Stepanovich said, a particular issue when it comes to “legislators and regulators who are not always subject matter experts in these areas, even if they are charged with overseeing them”.

Higgins agreed, “Crypto as shorthand for cryptography was in widespread use. you may bring up crypto even on Capitol hill and folks would comprehend what you were talking about – that actually did hold plenty of, forgive this, however currency.”

And at a time where many still aren’t positive what exactly cryptocurrency is, the confusion over the terms simply makes things muddier. 

“Strong cryptography may be a cornerstone of the manner that individuals cite privacy and security, and it’s been vulnerable for decades by governments, enforcement agencies and all varieties of unhealthy actors”, Higgins added. For its defenders, confusion over nomenclature creates one more challenge.

It will however be a long battle that places cryptographers on the losing side because the popularity of the word “crypto” with cryptocurrencies has surely eclipsed the original meaning or connection to cryptography. It will come as a consolation that cryptocurrency goes through encryption.

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Elon Musk’s Dogecoin space dream approaches realization

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Dogecoin will strive to get to a place where no other cryptocurrency has ever been, thanks to the upcoming SpaceX mission by billionaire, Elon Musk. 

It is no longer news that Elon Musk’s rocket company is harnessing the knowledge of Blockchain startups ZenX Labs and Unizen coupled with energy tech firm, Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC) to prepare for the launch of the Doge-1 satellite into space.

Elon Musk previously stated that the tab for the space mission is being paid for in Dogecoin and that SpaceX would launch the Doge-1 satellite to the Moon in 2022, making it the first cryptocurrency to literally go into space. 

SpaceX and GEC will also look to explore and highlight the role of decentralized finance (DeFi), in space exploration.

In a statement released by Tom Ochinero, SpaceX Vice President of Commercial Sales, he stated;

“This mission will demonstrate the application of cryptocurrency beyond Earth orbit and set the foundation for interplanetary commerce. We’re excited to launch DOGE-1 to the Moon!”

Doge-1 Mission

Unizen, a smart exchange ecosystem for digital assets, unveiled several moving parts of the operation. GEC is focused on building and launching Doge-1, the maiden “crypto founded space mission to the Moon.” ZenX Labs is providing support around scaling, DeFi infrastructure and compliance.

The DeFi component involves the dynamic multi-asset staking (DMAS) of Unizen ($ZCX), a smart CeDeFi ecosystem, and rewards including XI Protocol tokens ($XI), according to the announcement.

The three companies are gearing up to launch the CubeSat and the satellite into lunar orbit making it possible for spatial results to be obtained from sensors and cameras. The mission is not expected to launch until March 2022. 

Doge Price

Although the Blockchain space trip is nearing its actualization, this has done little to lift the mood in the crypto market as majority of the top 10 coins are currently trading in the red, including Dogecoin. 

Hopefully when SpaceX’s Doge-1 takes off, presumably in the coming months, it could be a catalyst for gains. Musk’s influence is enough to move the markets, and the satellite mission thrusts Dogecoin into uncharted territory for cryptocurrencies.

Virgin Galactic, the space company founded by fellow billionaire Richard Branson, has signed up about 700 people for its upcoming space mission. They are hoping to sell enough tickets for 1,000 people to be on the spaceflight.

Possible Effect

The big question has always been if Doge will ever get to $1. Doge is a lot closer to $1 today than it was at the start of the year. Doge currently stands at $0.26 so if it’s to reach $1 milestone, then it must get a 284.6% rise. 

Although that seems unlikely, the latest development of Doge-1 and the impending space travel might make it possible. 

This would see the cryptocurrency market cap get to $131 billion, comfortably making it the third-largest coin, eclipsing the likes of binance coin, solana and tether.

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India to ban crypto for payments, As China continues to ramp up crypto mining holdouts

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India would be banning cryptocurrencies as a method of payment but would regulate its use as an asset according to a report by the Economic Times. A legislative bill on crypto regulation is planned to be presented in the winter session of parliament. According to reports, the details of this bill are still being finalized. In the bill, authorities also plan on banning “active solicitation” from crypto firms which includes exchanges and platforms.

The current plan is a deviation from the government’s earlier plans to outrightly ban cryptocurrencies in the country. The Reserve Bank of India had in April 2018, banned regulated entities, financial institutions, from dealing in cryptocurrencies and providing services for facilitating any person or entity in dealing with cryptocurrencies. That, however, was overruled by the Supreme Court in March 2020 with the Court stating that while unregulated, cryptocurrencies were not illegal in India.

With the currently proposed legislation, the government seems to want to take a middle road on its stance with cryptocurrencies. The bill is also expected to address taxation aspects of the market. As for a regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) seems to be a likely candidate although according to the Economic Times, that is yet to be finalized.

Meanwhile, still on the continent of Asia, China is ramping up and tightening its control of crypto mining. The spokesperson for China’s National Development and Reform Commission, Meng Wei stated this during a press conference on Tuesday. She said the NDRC would be launching a “full scale” clamp down on any mining holdouts still left in the country.

This comes on the heels of China’s outright ban on crypto mining which took China’s global share of mining operations essentially offline overnight. Miners in China had moved their equipment and operations to neighboring Kazakhstan, Europe and the U.S. The Chinese government’s criticism of the mining industry has been attributed to it’s enormous energy use and environmental impact which threatens to jeopardize the nation’s goal of carbon net zero by 2060.

In apparent response to the news, a selloff was induced and the price of Bitcoin fell by about 7% to $60,889 while Ether slid by about 8% to $4,297.

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