There are very strict measures in Nigeria, from time to time to banning cryptocurrencies. So much so that in a report recently published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, it was even mentioned that these measures taken regarding cryptocurrencies negatively affected the development of the fintech industry in the country. In the report, the necessity of revising the restrictive measures implemented by Nigeria in order to attract foreign investors was mentioned as a recommendation.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stands out as the institution with the toughest attitude towards cryptocurrencies, as in many other countries. CBN is making efforts to increase the mass use of eNaira, which is still not fully launched. Finally, it has been announced that eNaira will be used for bill payments and domestic flight ticket purchases in the coming days. Nigeria wants to use eNaira as the only way to access government services in the future.
eNaira was first launched in October 2021. According to reports, the eNaira wallet was well received by the public, with around 500,000 downloads when it was released. However, in the last 6 months, the demand for eNaira has decreased significantly. While technical problems in the use of eNaira were cited as the reason, CBN's slowness in the project related to the central bank digital currency was also seen as an important factor in the decrease in usage.
Research shows that crypto adoption is extremely high in Nigeria. Cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin, in a survey conducted in April, revealed that 33.4 million people own cryptocurrencies in the country. Cryptocurrency trading remains high despite attempts to ban cryptocurrencies in the country.
With its current cryptocurrency policy, Nigeria seems to be trying to follow in the footsteps of China, the leading country in the use of central bank digital money. While there is no outright ban in Nigeria yet, as in China, the country has adopted a policy of restricting cryptocurrency trading as a way to increase the use of eNaira. However, it seems that this situation negatively affects the development of the fintech industry in Nigeria, which is closely tied to cryptocurrencies.