The idea of using cryptocurrency in Africa has a lot of merit. With lower transaction fees and global availability, Bitcoin makes for a strong candidate. In Nigeria, the idea has gained a valuable supporter, as the Central Bank of Nigeria shows an interest in cryptocurrency. An exciting future looms for cryptocurrency in the country, albeit specific details are hard to come by.
For the time being, it remains somewhat vague as to what the Central Bank of Nigeria aims to achieve. It is true the financial institution is aware of cryptocurrency, and has taken an interest in the concept. Moreover, the bank acknowledges how digital payments are slowly replacing fiat transactions in the country. Nigeria is a developing country that can benefit tremendously from digital payments.
Central Bank of Nigeria Keeps An Eye On Cryptocurrency
Digital money is more than symbolic to the Central Bank of Nigeria. Right now, the local economy completely relies on hard currency, which is anything but convenient. As a result, they are exploring what cryptocurrency can bring to the table. Giving consumers direct access to funds regardless of being a bank customer is a significant step forward. Additionally, consumers will have access to an ATM card that can be funded with digital currency.
It appears the CBN has put together a committee to conduct an in-depth study of Bitcoin. Quite an intriguing development, considering no bank has openly stated they have an interest in Bitcoin itself. However, this news may indicate the Central Bank of Nigeria wants to mimic what Bitcoin brings to the table. Developing a national digital currency is not out of the question at this stage.
Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Managing Director Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim stated:
“A lot of Nigerians have already started patronizing digital currency. Bitcoin has started to creep in and nobody can stop it in different economies of the world. Some central banks adopted the technology and are doing everything possible to develop new products. Owners of cryptocurrency don’t need a bank, especially not a central bank.”
It remains unclear as to which direction Nigeria will head in. It is good to see the NDIC and CBN show an interest in Bitcoin itself. However, there is no indication Nigeria will embrace Bitcoin as a national currency anytime soon. Digital currency can end poverty in the country, while providing a much-needed boost to the economy. But for now, no one knows for sure what the plan is.
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