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Issue 112
Oct 25 - Oct 31, 2021

Hi there,

This past week, the CBN finally launched the much-anticipated eNaira and there were mixed reactions. In today's edition of Decode Fintech, we discuss as simply as we can what the eNaira means for you.

Also, we are excited to announce the launch of Paystack's Artwork, a biweekly video series about the business side of being a creator in Africa! If you have friends who are creators and hope to make a living off it - this edition is also for them.

We hope you have a fantastic week!

Ejiro Esigbone
Product Specialist, Paystack
Payments
NigeriaThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) launches the eNaira. With the CBN's launch of the eNaira, Nigeria became the first African country to create a central bank digital currency (CBDC). In the 24 hours after its launch on October 25, 2021, about 200,000 e-Naira wallets — including 156,700 consumer wallets and 23,650 merchant wallets — were downloaded, suggesting early interest by Nigerians. Nairametrics
EDITOR'S NOTE

The eNaira is a digital version of the Nigerian naira issued directly by the CBN. It retains the same value as the Nigerian Naira and is a binding legal currency. The CBN hopes that the eNaira will: be a less costly and more efficient means of payment and store of value; enhance the government's ability to deploy targeted social interventions; provide alternative and less costly channels for collection of government revenue, and boost remittance through formal channels.

The eNaira (eNaira Guidelines) seems to be solving the same problem mobile money operators (Mobile Money Guidelines)are solving. This has led to conversations and questions about CBN being in competition with the companies it regulates. In theory, the eNaira and mobile money are solving the same problems i.e. driving financial inclusion and increasing payment options. However, this first iteration serves only the banked and therefore is not competing for last mile consumers. It will be interesting to observe how the CBN plans to work with mobile money operators and other fintechs in future.
AfricaAppzone Launches African Blockchain-based Digital Payments Solution. Appzone Group, a fintech software company, has announced the launch of Zone, a blockchain platform for processing payments. This new system, developed by its subsidiary Appzone Switch, facilitates local and regional payments in fiat and digital currencies. Afrikan Heroes
Regulation
NigeriaFederal Court in Nigeria reverses order freezing Risevest's accounts In August, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) asked the court to grant an interim order to freeze Risevest's account on the allegation that Risevest was trading in cryptocurrency. However, the court held that the CBN could not rely on a circular to freeze the accounts of companies trading in crypto. The Court also stated that there is no law declaring trading cryptocurrency illegal in Nigeria, and that the circular CBN relied on is not a law. Tech Economy
UgandaBank of Uganda issues five new mobile money licenses. The Bank of Uganda has licensed five more companies to conduct digital and electronic payments under the new National Payment System law. The five companies join MTN and Airtel, which were separately issued with Payment Systems Operator and Payment Service Provider licenses in May. The companies include Micropay Uganda, Mcash Uganda, Interswitch East Africa, Pegasus Technologies, and Wave Transfer. UGANDA: Five companies issued with electronic money licences - Mobile Money Africa
Conversations
GlobalEarly reactions to Nigeria's eNaira. Victor Asemota (@asemota) shares his thoughts on Nigeria's recently launched CBDC, the eNaira, its purpose, and use cases in this twitter thread.
EDITOR'S NOTE

In a more detailed breakdown, Samora Kariuki wrote extensively on the eNaira project, breaking down its intended purposes, and its impact on banks, the payments ecosystem, and the general public. You can find the article in this issue of the Fintech Frontier Newsletter.
Fundraising
NigeriaBrass secures $1.7m in financing round Brass, a Nigerian fintech offering affordable banking services to SMEs, has secured $1.7million in funding to expand its operations to South Africa and Kenya. This round was backed by Hustle Fund, Acuity Ventures, Uncovered Fund, and Ventures Platform and angel investors such as Flutterwave's Olugbenga Agboola and Paystack's Ezra Olubi. Finextra
NigeriaEmerging Africa Group has acquired a majority stake in Fundall. The Emerging Africa Group's financial service investment firm in Nigeria has acquired an undisclosed majority stake in Fundall. Emerging Africa Group states that the purpose of the acquisition is to expand into more financial services. Disrupt Africa
NigeriaE-finance Raises $372m, largest IPO On Egyptian Stock Exchange. E-finance Investment Group, a government-owned electronic payment solutions provider listed its shares on the Egyptian Stock Exchange on October 20 at an initial price of 13.98 Egyptian pounds per share after raising 5.84 billion Egyptian pounds ($372 million) during its recent IPO on the Egyptian Stock Exchange. Afrikan Heroes
AfricaE-Settlement (E-SL) acquires Quickcash. The Nigerian financial services group has acquired Quickcash, an Ivorian e-payment and & money transfer firm. The purpose of the acquisition is to extend E-SL’s payment service offering, and support its expansion aspirations. With the acquisition, QuickCash will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Tech Moran
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