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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued preliminary guidelines for the proposed eNair digital currency.
Several sensitizing elements of the central bank’s digital currency (CBDC) were outlined in a sensitization document sent to commercial banks in the country.
According to this document, the Nigerian CBDC codenamed “Project Giant” will be linked to the value of naira.
ENaira will therefore offer value parity, but will not bear interest on the currency. ENaira will run together with the country’s fiat currency, with the CBN being responsible for issuing, distributing and disbursing the digital currency, including monitoring and management functions.
AML / KYC
According to the sensitization document, the CBDC in Nigeria will operate under a graduated structure against money laundering and AML / KYC factors with different transaction limits.
The lower part of the AML / KYC pyramid will allegedly include citizens without bank accounts, who will be required to provide their national identity numbers for verification. Users in this category will be limited by a daily transaction limit of 50,000 naira (about $ 120).
Citizens with bank accounts may fall into the second and third levels depending on the number of completed AML / KYC steps. These two levels will have daily limits of 200,000 naira ($ 487) and 1 million naira ($ 2,438).
Level three users may need to complete the physical AML / KYC verification process in addition to the bank verification number requirements.
Users classified as merchants will also fall below the same limit of 1 million naira as level 3, but will have no restrictions on the amount they can send to their bank accounts.
Indeed, CBN plans to ensure seamless transfers between eNaira wallets and bank accounts free of charge. The zero-fee structure is likely to be a means of incentivizing the adoption of digital currency, especially in the case of complaints about the difficult transaction costs associated with mobile and digital banking in the country.
The CBN also offered likely procedural flows for International Money Transfer Operators (IMTO) and the proposed eNair, as well as outlining plans to integrate the digital currency with the central bank’s forex control policies.
The first option is that the proposed CBN will allow the central bank to provide collateralised eNaira IMTO credit through their banking partners in the country. The second option could be to pre-finance IMTO CBN accounts, but this method may carry significant exchange rate risk.
The third option offered by CBN will involve eNaira operating in the current forex architecture, where the recipient in Nigeria will pay foreign vouchers at CBDC.
CBN plans to pilot the eNaira project in October. Back in June, the country’s communications minister joined the government’s efforts to promote the adoption of the blockchain as an integral part of Nigeria’s digital innovation.