According to Nigerian cryptocurrency and blockchain experts, most of the people will only consider using the e-naira, once the country’s central bank makes enough effort to make the CBDC an attractive currency to use.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently made claims that majority of the people in the country of about 200,000 residents are switching to, or interested in the recently introduced central bank digital currency (CBDC) known as the e-naira.
However, some experts have shared their doubts about such a claim. Initially, the e-naira had only been available with Nigerian bank accounts and experts have argued that it lacks some of the features that privately issued cryptocurrencies can offer.
Furthermore, the experts added that there wasn’t enough data available regarding the number of e-nairas that are currently in circulation. According to the perspective of these experts, the widespread adoption of the Nigerian CBDC is almost an impossible milestone to achieve because of the lack of these attributes.
The CBN had launched the e-naira in late October and they have been issuing updates routinely since then, which suggest that the digital currency has been welcomed by the people. Moreover, the government has also claimed that the CBDC will help in adding billions of dollars to the country’s economy.
Furthermore, Ch’Edozie Okonjo and other CBN officials have also tried to drum up support for the CBDC at public events, a digital currency which is undoubtedly the first of its kind to have been introduced in Africa.
Recently, an event was organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Nigeria and in his address, Okonjo disclosed that more than 34,000 transactions had been recorded by the CBN, which were valued at $450,000 (188 million naira), involving the use of e-naira.
While central bank officials have been supporting the e-naira rather enthusiastically, some crypto and blockchain experts in the country are doubtful of the claims they are making about the widespread adoption of the CBDC.
The experts also highlighted the fact that the digital currency is currently only available to those who have bank accounts. Other experts have also demanded the reason for requiring separate accounts for e-naira, when users already have regular bank accounts.
Publisher and crypto expert, Aniekan Fyneface asked a number of questions about the digital currency. He said that answers were needed before Nigerians could be encouraged to adopt the new CBDC. He questioned the incentives and advantages the e-naira had to offer.
Fyneface said that CBN needed to address these concerns, or else many Nigerians would not consider switching to the CBDC and abandoning the privately issued cryptocurrencies. A crypto product expert based in Nigeria, Nathaniel Luz also has similar sentiments about the digital currency.
He said that the CBN had launched a crackdown against companies facilitating P2P transactions primarily because they want to encourage the adoption of e-naira.
The crackdown has driven a number of crypto companies to give some thought to relocating from Nigeria, but Luz said that it was up to the users to make their own decision and many would prefer a medium of exchange that’s censorship-free.