Nigeria is one of the largest crypto hubs in Africa. The country has attracted 840,000 digital currency users since October last year, and it is now looking toward the increased adoption of the e-naira. The country estimates that the e-naira will grow ten times over the next year by attracting people without bank accounts.

e-naira targets 8M users in the second phase

The Central Bank of Nigeria is targeting 8 million e-naira users during the second phase of the expansion of the central bank digital currency. The governor of the country’s central bank, Godwin Emefiele, said that the e-naira would be available to all Nigerians and provide a better way of bringing the unbanked into the digital economy.

Emefiele gave these remarks during the final round of a hackathon sponsored by the central bank. The hackathon focused on creating products around the e-naira. The Nigerian government has been pushing to adopt its CBDC to tap into the growing digital currency space.

The naira has been depreciating significantly in recent years, which has led to many people opting to use cryptocurrencies to preserve their wealth. However, the growing crypto market has also attracted the attention of the government and regulators.

The central bank of Nigeria has ordered commercial banks to refrain from conducting any crypto-related transactions. The e-naira has attracted 270,000 active users so far, according to Bloomberg. However, the Nigerian crypto space included 33.4 million people who owned or traded crypto assets.

Nigeria has also seen an increase in the adoption of stablecoins like Tether (USDT). Stablecoins are digital assets popular among investors who do not want exposure to the volatility of the broader cryptocurrency market. However, others have also opted to buy Bitcoin and other low-cap cryptos anticipating a price gain.

A study conducted by CoinGecko showed that Nigeria had shown more interest in cryptocurrencies than any other country since the bear market started in April this year.

e-naira will help the unbanked

A report by the World Bank estimates that only around 45% of Nigerian adults have bank accounts. It shows that a large number of the Nigerian population remains unbanked, given that the country has more than 200 million people.

So far, the e-naira has attracted more than 200,000 transactions worth around 4 billion naira. It is a tiny value compared to the 54 trillion naira settled through the Nigeria Instant Payment System between January and February this year.

However, despite the slow growth and adoption rate, the central bank is optimistic that the e-naira will benefit the growth of the country’s national payment infrastructure. Merchants and consumers with bank accounts can access the existing payment frameworks to get e-naira.

The central bank governor also said the economy needed to change towards a digital sector. The use of cash would eventually seize, and digital currencies would gradually become part of everyday life.


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