Innocent Matshe, deputy governor of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently stated that his bank will continue with its plans to create its own digital currency. In addition to sending a team to learn from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s experiences, Zimbabwe has also reportedly sent teams with a similar mission to countries like China and Ghana.
‘Jury Is Still Out’ on CBDCs
The reported slow embrace of Nigeria’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) or the e-naira will not dissuade the Zimbabwean central bank from working on its own CBDC, Innocent Matshe, the bank’s deputy governor has reportedly said. He said that while the “jury is still out,” on CBDCs, his institution will still proceed with its digital currency launch preparations.
Bitcoin.com News has previously reported that less than anticipated numbers of Nigerian adult have downloaded and are currently using the CBDC to pay their bills. Some reports have estimated the number of active e-naira wallet users to be around 5% of Nigeria’s adult population. Experts have tied the slow adoption of the e-naira to the digital currency’s failure to live up to the promises made prior to its launch.
Meanwhile, one Nigeria expert, Chiagozie Iwu, the founder of Naijacrypto a local digital currency exchange, told Bitcoin.com News that instead of competing with fintechs, the Central Bank of Nigeria needs “to create a more friendly environment to support fintech and blockchain-based innovations.”
There are still options
However, as per his remarks published by Bloomberg, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s number two acknowledged that while they may some hesitation when it comes to CBDCs this should not stop the preparations. He added:
Certainly it’s a point to consider that there is hesitancy in the market. We don’t think that it is a deterrent at this point, we just think that it is a learning point for us. Then, we can take steps to reduce the hesitancy that is causing the market in Nigeria.
The report claims that the Zimbabwean government sent representatives to China and Ghana in order to examine their CBDC projects. A team of RBZ members led by Josephat Mutepfa visited Nigeria’s central bank in June 27.
Meanwhile, concerning the design and characteristics of Zimbabwe’s digital currency, the RBZ deputy governor Matshe suggested that this “will have its own specificities.” He added that while all options are still on the table, the RBZ is not expecting the CBDC to “be directly linked to any currency.”
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