What you need to know about Nigeria’s new digital currency

About Fatu
By Fatu Ogwuche

Top of Mind. Happy Sunday!

Today marks the end of British summer, with the clock automatically putting the UK an hour behind. Be kind to your British friends. They are going through a lot.

3 big things:

Top of Mind. Happy Sunday!

Today marks the end of British summer, with the clock automatically putting the UK an hour behind. Be kind to your British friends. They are going through a lot.

3 big things:

  • Nigeria launches a new digital currency
  • Facebook’s new name
  • Amazon is coming for Clubhouse

What you need to know about Nigeria’s new digital currency

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (L), President Muhammadu Buhari (middle) & CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele (R) | Credit: Presidency

The short: Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari launched the eNaira, the first Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in Africa.

What it means: eNaira is the digital form of the Naira. Think of it as the money you have in the bank, but one that can exist only in digital form and in a wallet whose custodian is the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The eNaira is available through the eNaira Speed App wallets that are available to both individuals and institutions.

Know this: eNaira is not a government cryptocurrency. It is a digital payment infrastructure built on the blockchain. The CBN privately holds the ledger.

Big Picture: The eNaira will ease payment transactions and reduce the need for physical cash, which burdens the CBN and barrier to trade within the largely unbanked population.

While it promises accelerated financial inclusion, adoption issues will persist as the national identity and KYC requirements that are out-of-reach for many of the unbanked segments of the population remains a barrier. 

Sloppy first week: First impressions from users detail several lags and error messages, including issues matching emails and bank verification numbers. What’s worse, after 100,000 downloads on Google’s Playstore, the app was temporarily taken down following a string of bad reviews on the App Store.

By the numbers: The Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele revealed 500 million eNaira ($1.21 million) had been minted. The Nigerian president believes the project could grow the economy by $29 billion in the next decade, but this projection has no empirical basis. Final thoughts: With the CBN onboarding individuals, retailers and institutions to its eNaira payment platform, many are curious about what it means for payment processors. Is Nigeria’s Central Bank also making a FinTech play?

Facebook gets a new name

Meta HQ. MPK, California | Credit: Meta

The short: It’s official, the company formerly known as Facebook is now known as Meta. Meta would be the parent entity for the company’s family of apps – Oculus, Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Novi. 

What it means: Facebook “just doesn’t encompass everything we do,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during his presentation of the company’s new identity and vision that transcends its social media origins. 

Why it matters: Zuckerberg’s presentation validates the idea of the “metaverse”, a sort of virtual reality. The announcement signals the company’s ambition to lead this next wave of the internet’s third evolution.  

Significant investments: The company is committing $10bn to new hires, partnerships like the Rayban collaboration and acquisitions. From teleporting to fashion and commerce, Meta’s new ambition goes beyond creating a dominant tech company but one with the potential to shape the world. 

Big picture: We are many years away from the metaverse. The metaverse in its full form needs more than just Meta to come to life. It would require new technology, talent and transition of real-world establishments.

Final thoughts: Meta holds Facebook’s original mission of connecting people. Zuckerberg has once changed the way we interacted, and it would be insane to bet against him doing it again. But, for this founder, Meta feels like Day 1 again.

Amazon is making a play for social audio

Amazon logo | Credit: SR

The short: Amazon is entering the live audio game with a Clubhouse competitor that turns hosts into DJs. The new app, according to Verge, is codenamed Project Mic and would launch first in the US. 

What it means: Amazon’s move into the social audio space is to reinvent how people consume radio by making it possible for anyone to create and distribute a live radio show. 

Big Picture: Silicon Valley companies and e-commerce platforms are making big plays to acquire social media networks.

Amazon acquired gaming platform Twitch for $970 million in 2014, and PayPal nearly acquired Pinterest a few weeks ago, and who could forget the three-way bidding war between Microsoft, Oracle and Walmart for TikTok’s US interests during Trump’s battle with China. 

Amazon’s play: Amazon is exploring integrating live audio with its other products. While listeners will tune in through the app, users could access Project Mic through Audible, Amazon Music, Twitch, and Alexa-equipped devices. 

Final thoughts: Amazon takes a different approach from leaders – Twitter and Clubhouse – the company hasn’t had so much success with its media and social products.

Amazon’s play might be to keep its existing users satisfied than any big plan to win more users or lead the rest of the pack.

Market Trends

Market Trends | Big Tech This Week

Market Watch: Here’s how the stocks of companies, which dominated the news this week performed as of market close: 

Facebook (Ticker Symbol: FB)

  • Facebook’s shares gained 2.10% to $323.57 on Friday. The company will start trading with a new ticker: MVRS, beginning December 1. Markets seem excited about the recent name change. A Canadian company with the ticker: META recorded an 8% boost following the announcement. 

Amazon (Ticker Symbol: AMZN)

  • Amazon shares lost -2.15% to $3,372.43 on Friday. The company reported weaker-than-expected earnings for Q3 2021 and uninspiring Q4 guidance, reflecting a slowdown in growth.

New feature spotlight!

Twitter Spaces | Credit: Twitter

New feature alert: Twitter launches recording for Spaces! Now, users can catch up on Spaces conversations they missed.

How it works: Hosts can begin a live audio session and record simultaneously. To indicate that recording is ongoing, participants will see a “Rec” button beside a red dot atop the Twitter Space interface.

Once done, the host will tap on an “End” button at the top-right corner, which shows a prompt asking to confirm if they want to end both the Space and stop recording. The recording can be shared across Twitter, providing playback value for both creator and listeners.

Verdict: This feature has been a long time coming and unlocks an opportunity for creators to record and share live conversations at scale. Go, Twitter!


That’s it for the week. See you next Sunday!

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