The rollout of the world’s second largest central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC) has got off to a bumpy start. Last week, Nigeria launched its CBDC eNaira after the Bahamas became the first country in the world to launch its own known as The Sand Dollar last year.
In a statement quoted by local news agency The Nation, the Central Bank of Nigeria or CBN, Governor Godwin Emefiele said “overwhelming interest and an encouraging response”. Similar, President Muhammadu Buhari estimates that eNaira could generate US $ 29 billion in additional economic activity over the next decade, and points to the possibility of direct government benefits through digital currencies.
According to Emefiele, 33 banks, 2,000 customers and 120 retailers have registered on the platform since it was launched on October 25. The application is available for both Apple and Android. Since then, More than $ 200 million in eNaira ($ 602,959) has been spent to financial institutions in the country.
But while government officials are optimistic about its outlook, it has not got off to a great start. The ENaira Speed Wallet from CBN was briefly offline shortly after its launch in app stores such as Google Play. The app was removed to allow an update after receiving over 100,000 downloads with polarized ratings. Users mainly complained about glitches and various features of the app that didn’t work at all. It is currently available. As the Peoples Gazette reports, the CBN also plagiarized a disclaimer for eNaira from a US device manufacturer.
Last month, In a survey conducted by Finders.com and tabulated by The Straight Times, 24.2% of respondents in Nigeria said they owned cryptocurrencies, which puts the country at the forefront of digital currency use. Malaysia came in second (18.0%) and Australia came third (17.7%). Meanwhile, the United States ranks 10th with 10.4% of adults owning cryptocurrencies.