Nigerian Crypto Expert asserts, CBDC isn’t appealing to users

Some experts from Nigeria have questioned claims made by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), that many Nigerians are moving to or interested in the new central bank digital currency (CBDC), e-naira. Nigeria is home to over 200 million people.

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Experts believe that the enaira, initially only available to Nigerians who had bank accounts, lacked certain characteristics found in privately created cryptocurrencies.

Insufficient data is available on the distribution of e-nairas. These experts claim that widespread adoption of CBDC is impossible because it lacks these characteristics.

According to Nigerian cryptocurrency and blockchain specialists, many potential adopters won’t consider the e-naira until the central bank has made the CBDC an attractive alternative.

Since October’s rollout of e-naira, the CBN has been publishing regular updates. This indicates that Nigerians are embracing a new digital currency that is believed to add billions to their economy.

Officials from the CBN such as Ch’Edozie Okonjo used public events to gather support for a digital currency in Africa.

Okonjo, for example, claimed that the CBN had registered more than 34,000 transactions on the e–naira platform, which is worth $450,000 (188m naira) during his recent presentation to the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.

Although the e-naira was supported by the central bank, some cryptocurrency and blockchain specialists expressed doubts about claims that the CBDC is widespread. Experts pointed out that digital currencies can only be used for people with bank accounts.

Aniekan Fyneface is a crypto specialist and publisher. He believes the government should explain why Nigerians need an enaira account, when ordinary bank accounts can do what the CBN promises.

Fyneface says that authorities must answer a few questions before they can urge Nigerians to adopt CBDC. Fyneface asked if the e-naira is a digital payment currency.

Are there any benefits to using it for payment? It should be made more attractive by offering discounts to those who pay with the electronic currency. He also stated that he already had many Nigerian bank accounts so what do he have to lose by using an eNaira?

Fyneface reports that the majority of Nigerians won’t transfer cryptocurrency from their private hands to the enaira, as CBN wants. This is until Fyneface pays attention to these concerns.

Nathaniel Luz is a Nigerian crypto product expert. He shares the same view on the potential of the e-naira. Luz said he agrees with the idea that Nigerians should be encouraged to adopt the e-naira by writing comments in response to the CBN’s recent attack on firms that permit P2P (peer to peer) transactions.

Luz stated that, despite the CBN’s crackdown on crypto companies such as Kurepay, many Nigerians will choose a censorship-free medium to trade if they are given the choice.

Both Nigerian specialists and others, who chose not to be identified, indicated that the CBN has much work ahead of it before the e-naira can meet its goals of reducing transaction costs or reducing the number of economically disadvantaged adults.

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