Nigerians’ passion for crypto stops short at eNaira

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBDC) digital currency is not getting the expected warm welcome from its crypto-savvy populace.

According to a Bloomberg reportless than 0.5% of Nigeria’s 217 million people are using digital currency issued by the government — eNaira — one year after its launch.

This comes despite Nigeria being identified by Chainalysis as the first country in Africa for the adoption of cryptography and 11th in the world, while a KuCoin report found that 35% of the Nigerian population between the ages of 18 and 60 had owned or traded cryptocurrencies this year.

Bloomberg noted that Nigerians have been confused due to a lack of clarity from the state cracking down on crypto last year.

In February 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria prohibited banks to service crypto exchanges with the aim of breaking fiat on and off the ramps.

According to the report, educating people who are generally suspicious of the state and the ruling elite has also become a challenge for the central bank.

Furthermore, the naira has been devalued about six times since 2015 and economists expect another 20% loss in value next year as the economy has been further aggravated by runaway inflation, which could make difficult to promote a CBDC. the citizens of the country.

According to Adesoji Solanke, director of Lagos-based emerging and frontier markets investment bank, Renaissance Capital, “eNaira does not address any of these basic use cases, so no surprise at its low adoption rates. so far”.

The disappointing figures are now prompting Nigeria’s central bank to step up efforts to increase adoption, including offering a 5% discount to motorized rickshaw drivers and passengers plying the city’s streets, according to the report.

Related: Nigeria Becomes Most Crypto-Obsessed Nation After April Crash

In August, Nigerian Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele announced that the eNaira project had entered its second phase in August with a adoption goal eight million users.

At the time, he added that the CBDC had about 840,000 downloads, with about 270,000 active wallets. By August, there had been around 200,000 transactions worth 4 billion naira, or about $9.5 million at the time.

According to the Atlantic Council CBDC trackingNigeria is one of eleven countries to have fully deployed a central bank digital currency, the other ten are in the Caribbean.