CBN Publishes the eNaira Design Paper


Sunday October 24, 2021 / 03:32 AM / by CBN/ Header Image Credit:  CBN


Executive Summary

Central banks play an essential role in the economy by providing a robust, safe, efficient, and inclusive payment system. They provide monetary and financial stability as well as the safest form of money to the populace - Central Bank Money. As technology evolves and advances, it is critical that Central Banks also evolve to continue to play their role and Central Bank Money adapts to take advantage of these opportunities provided by new technologies. Today is one of those moments where new technology offers the central bank an enormous opportunity to play its role even better, thereby improving the society and economy of their nation.


Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) has emerged as one of the transformational technologies of the last decade and its introduction is gathering significant pace around the world. DLT allows for highly transparent, secure, tamper-proof transactions between parties, and creates trust even when the parties have no reason to trust each other.


Critical use cases include identity management, supply chain verification, land registry and many more. Perhaps the most important use cases are payments, where DLT can ensure secure, tamper-proof, verifiable transactions in a much simpler way as settlement and payment are the same process. As a result, the cost of payments is significantly reduced.


For this reason, many central banks are investigating how using new technologies through issuing CBDC could potentially alleviate several policy problems. Central Banks are either studying the concept, trialling the concept or in some cases - such as The Bahamas Sand Dollar - have already moved into full implementation of the CBDC.


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) began its CBDC journey in 2017, with extensive study, consultations, identification of use cases and the testing of the CBDC concept in a Sandbox environment.


Based on this preliminary work, the CBN is now ready to launch Nigeria's CBDC - the eNaira. The eNaira is the digital equivalent of the cash Naira. Put simply, “same Naira, more possibilities”. The eNaira - like the physical Naira - is the official tender of Nigeria and is a liability of the CBN. The eNaira and Naira will always be exchanged 1:1.


The CBN believes the eNaira will make a significant positive difference to Nigeria and Nigerians, including:

  • Improving the availability and usability of Central Bank money
  • Supporting a resilient payment system ecosystem • Encouraging financial inclusion
  • Reducing the cost of processing cash
  • Enabling direct welfare disbursements to citizens
  • Increasing revenue and tax collection
  • Facilitating Diaspora remittances
  • Reducing the cost and improving the efficiency of cross-border payments


In introducing the eNaira, the CBN has given careful consideration to the entire payments and financial system ecosystems and has designed the eNaira and the development of the eNaira over time to complement and strengthen these ecosystems. While the launch of the eNaira is an important event, it is one milestone on a long journey. The eNaira is a process, not a single step. Over time, the CBN believes the robust ecosystems that will be built on the eNaira platform will ensure Nigeria and Nigerians receive all the benefits from the eNaira.


This design document gives much more detail on the critical dimensions of the eNaira, including the eNaira design and architecture, the initial eNaira functionality, what roles different economic actors play as the eNaira is introduced, the risks of the eNaira and how they will be mitigated, and the eNaira Implementation roadmap. These critical details should give comfort to Nigerians that the eNaira has been well-conceived and the launch of the eNaira has been robustly planned.


Download Here - eNaira Design Paper

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