eNaira: company sues CBN for trademark infringement, launch date rescheduled

The official website of the upcoming Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) digital currency, the eNaira website, has gone live, exactly one week to the planned launch of the initiative.

Records one million hits in days after unveiling according to analytics

Surprisingly, 24-hours after the eNaira website went live, it has recorded over one million hits, according to analytics.

Millions of Nigerians are eager to experience how the launch of the scheme would be like. Unfortunately, that excitement will have to wait few more days.

Being the first of its kind, there are questions about the benefits of the e-Naira and based on what we’ve gathered, “e-Naira is a Central Bank of Nigeria-issued digital currency that provides a unique form of money denominated in Naira,” You Can also read up on everything to know about the e-Naira here

The initiative offers easier financial transactions for users of e-Naira, offers opportunity for peer-to-peer payments which allows users to send money to one another through a linked bank account or card; allows customers to move money from their bank account to their e-Naira wallet with ease; can monitor their wallet, check balances and view transaction history; and make in-store payment using their e-Naira wallet by scanning QR codes. Users are allowed to scan the QR Code on the website to get started.

eNaira launch date rescheduled?

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, while responding to various questions about the eNaira said,

due to activities surrounding Nigeria’s Independence celebration on October 1, the previously planned launch of the digital currency on the same date would likely be rescheduled to October 4, 2021.

He said “The central bank would not want the event to take the shine away from the Independence celebration.”

“We are going to be the first country in Africa to launch a digital currency. It is a novel idea because we think it will facilitate trade, Nigeria being the biggest economy in Africa, this will set the tone to tell Africa that we are ready to lead and we would indeed lead in trade and we would make sure that happens.

“Between all central bankers in ECOWAS, we are already working on a certain collaboration to make trade, payment and banking systems integrate in such a way to set an example on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” he added.

The CBN governor expressed his optimism that the launch of the Country’s digital currency app would result in improved cross-border trade, accelerate financial inclusion and lead to cheaper and faster remittance inflow.

He said the digital money would lead to easier targeted social interventions, as well as improvement in monetary policy effectiveness, payment systems efficiency, and tax collection.

After the final launch of the digital currency, Nigerians will be able to download the e-Naira app from either Google play store or Apple app store, register themselves and fund their wallet using their bank account or with cash at a registered agent location.

“If you are a bank customer and you have say N20 million in your bank account, for your comfort of spending and making a purchase, you can tell the bank to load N1 million out of your N20 million into your speed wallet.

“So, your bank balance in physical cash drops to N19 million, while your e-wallet carries N1 million. With that you can make purchases both within and across the country.

“There are so many variance of the e-Naira. But this is where we would start because we are not going to pretend that there are no risks in opening your system up. We would look at the various products, determine the risk, and determine the best way to mitigate the risk before we open it up more and more,”


Legal tussle on Trademark Infringement

The purported launch of the CBDC faces a trademark infringement battle, according to a new report by Cryptotvplus which claims that the CBDC rollout might now be frustrated by a legal challenge that has reportedly been filed against the Central Bank by Enaira Payment Solutions.

According to the lawsuit, Enaira Payment Solutions limited claims it is the rightful and legal holder of the Enaira trademark.

Therefore, to protect itself from the ramifications of this “illegal act” by the CBN, the company says it has since approached the High Court where it hopes to get a restraining order against the central bank.

In addition, the company has warned the CBN against “using or purporting to use the name Enaira for its product or in any other way.

What we know is that the eNaira will not launch on October 1, but rather October 4. We also know that the CBN has many beliefs in the initiative and Nigerians are looking forward to how the scheme will work out. 

Tell us what you think about the CBDC, will you get onboard when it finally launches? Feel free to drop us a comment.

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