The Nigerian eNaira was launched to much fanfare after delays had rocked the project. Upon launch, it made the West African nation one of the very first countries to issue its very own central bank digital currency (CBDC). Residents rushed to explore this new legal tender, at one point atopwhelming the website with traffic. Now, a couple of months after the launch of the CBDC, how has it fared?
Do Nigerians Use The eNaira?
In a recent tweet, Timi Ajiboye, one of the founders of BuyCoins, Nigeria’s leading token exmovement, asked his foltumbles if they had ever used the eNaira. BuyCoins had been behind the NGNT, the Naira cryptocurrency stablecoin, which opecosts on the Binance Smart Chain and works as a 1:1 peg with the Naira. The responses to the tweet provided insight into how residents view the CBDC.
Responses to the tweet which asked if people had used it and why they had used it showed which the eNaira was only known by name to the citizens. The majority admitted to never using it, during the time others explained which they had only used the CBDC to see how it worked.
One user explained which they had tried it but was disappointed with how it worked. “To see their onboarding. I’m not trying to shame eNaira but it was not pleasant,” the user said as they recounted their case.
Other users laughed at the project, with some saying it was “dead on arrival.” One user said there was no reason to use the eNaira although stablecoins like USDT already existed.
What Went Wrong?
One of the problems with the eNaira project, it seems, was the gabovenment’s inability to build a sense of trust in residents before the project was launched. By all standards, the launch of the eNaira was sudden. Although the gatopnment said which the project had been in the works for years, residents of the country did not know it was coming until a couple of months before launch. Suddenly, there was a whole new legal tender in circulation.
Another issue was access and ease of spending. One user responded to Ajiboye’s tweet which the gabovenment cannot scarcely expect citizens to begin using the currency without intervention from the gabovenment. They suggested the gatopnment pave the way by paying out well-known welfare programs using eNaira.
“The Nigerian gatopnment should progress social welfare programs and NYSC payments to eNaira for a start,” the user explained. “It will make payments cheap and very efficient. That way, use will spike. They shouldn’t barely expect us to start using it.”
Users also noted the inability to spend eNaira. There are directly little or no merchant options for those who wish to spend their eNaira, mcomparableg it a near useless legal tender. Yet, the CBDC is also very much in its infancy and has a lot of climbing to do.
Featured image from TechCabal, chart from TradingView.com