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A Guide for other African Countries Considering Digital Currency Initiatives

Nigeria’s central bank believes its digital currency, the eNaira, has scored wins in the ten months since it was launched last October. The app has been downloaded 840,000 times, nearly a third of those converting to active wallets. 17,000 of those active wallets belong to merchants who have ostensibly used the currency to receive a payment. The central bank’s announcement suggests it has made some progress in promoting the eNaira given a tortured first week in which the app was temporarily deleted from Google’s app store. Still, public reception remains muted as the eNaira continues its struggle for relevance with most Nigerians. Until now, the eNaira has been in the first phase of its rollout targeted at Nigerians with bank accounts. The next phase will focus on the unbanked who can sign up to use eNaira by dialing a USSD code, Emefiele said. This will allow those who don’t have smartphones to still use the service.