Nigerian crypto and blockchain experts suggest that prospective users may only adopt the enaira when the central bank makes the CBDC (central banking digital currency) attractive.
E-Naira still unattractive for users
Nigerian experts are skeptical about the claims of the Central Bank of Nigeria that more Nigerians want to switch or invest in the newly launched digital currency of the central bank, the e-naira.
Experts claim that the private-issued cryptocurrencies lack features and functionality found in the enaira which initially was available only to Nigerians holding bank accounts. It is unclear how many e-nairas are currently in circulation. These experts believe it’s because there are not enough information about these attributes that widespread CBDC adoption is almost impossible.
The CBN regularly issues updates since the launch of the e-naira late October. These update suggest that Nigerians welcome a digital currency, which the government says will bring billions to the economy.
In addition, CBN officials like Ch’Edozie Okonjo have used public events to drum up support for a digital currency that is the first of its kind in Africa. Okonjo revealed, in an address at an event hosted by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, that there had been over 34,000 transactions totaling $450,000, which is 188 million naira, on the e–naira platform.
Bitcoin.com News spoke to some bitcoin and cryptocurrency experts who were skeptical of claims that CBDC has been widely adopted, despite their enthusiastic support for the enaira. They also noted that only bank account holders can access the digital currency.
CBN must explain why Nigerians need the CBDC
Aniekan, a crypto expert and author, stated that authorities should explain to Nigerians the reasons they require an e-naira bank account, when ordinary banks can achieve what CBN promises. Fyneface raises a few questions authorities should consider before encouraging Nigerians into the CBDC. He said:
The e-naira is a digital payment cryptocurrency. If it’s used for payment what are the incentives or advantages? It is important that the government offers discounts to those who pay with the eNaira. I have several Nigerian bank accounts, so adding an eNaira to them will make me more attractive.
Fyneface stated that many Nigerians won’t switch to the enaira from private-issued cryptocurrencies unless they are given serious consideration.
Sharing a similar sentiment about the e-naira’s prospects is Nathaniel Luz, a Nigeria-based crypto product expert. In his written responses to questions sent by Bitcoin.com News, Luz says he agrees with the assertion that the CBN’s current crackdown on entities that facilitate P2P (peer-to-peer) transactions is intended to force Nigerians to switch to the e-naira.
Despite the CBN clampdown, which has forced crypto firms like Kurepay to consider relocating outside of Nigeria, Luz insisted that “at the end of the day, it’s up to users to make their decision.” He added that when given a choice, many Nigerians will “choose a censorship-free medium of exchange.”
Bitcoin.com News quotes a number of Nigerian experts, but they are not the only ones who think the CBN has the potential to make progress in achieving its goal of decreasing the financial vulnerability of the population and lower transaction fees.
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