Zimbabwe Proceeding With Digital Currency Plans, Central Bank Undeterred By Slow Adoption of Nigerian CBDC

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Undeterred by the reported slow adoption of the Nigerian central bank digital currency, the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Innocent Matshe recently said his institution will proceed with plans to launch its own digital currency. In addition to sending a team to learn from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s experiences, Zimbabwe has also reportedly sent teams with a similar mission to countries like China and Ghana.

‘Jury Is Still Out’ on CBDCs
The reported slow embrace of Nigeria’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) or the e-naira will not dissuade the Zimbabwean central bank from working on its own CBDC, Innocent Matshe, the bank’s deputy governor has reportedly said. He said that while the “jury is still out,” on CBDCs, his institution will still proceed with its digital currency launch preparations.

As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, fewer than anticipated Nigerian adults have downloaded or are using the CBDC when making payments. Some reports have estimated the number of active e-naira wallet users to be around 5% of Nigeria’s adult population. Experts have tied the slow adoption of the e-naira to the digital currency’s failure to live up to the promises made prior to its launch.

Meanwhile, one Nigeria expert, Chiagozie Iwu, the founder of Naijacrypto a local digital currency exchange, told Bitcoin.com News that instead of competing with fintechs, the Central Bank of Nigeria needs “to create a more friendly environment to support fintech and blockchain-based innovations.”

All Options Are Still on the Table
However, as per his remarks published by Bloomberg, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s number two acknowledged that while they may some hesitation when it comes to CBDCs this should not stop the preparations. He said:

Certainly it’s a point to consider that there is hesitancy in the market. We don’t think that it is a deterrent at this point, we just think that it is a learning point for us. We can then adopt measures to try and mitigate the factors that are causing that hesitancy in the Nigerian market.

According to the report, the Zimbabwean government has already sent teams to countries like China and Ghana to study their respective CBDC projects. Before this, a team from the RBZ led by Josephat Mutepfa had visited the Nigerian central bank on Jun 27.

Meanwhile, concerning the design and characteristics of Zimbabwe’s digital currency, the RBZ deputy governor Matshe suggested that this “will have its own specificities.” He added that while all options are still on the table, the RBZ is not expecting the CBDC to “be directly linked to any currency.”


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