The local Nigerian eNaira CBDC has been in place for just over a year. However, recent numbers show that it has not reached its intended recipients and adoption is extremely low.

Nigeria’s central bank digital currency has been adopted by just 0.5% of the country’s population, according to recent reports.

Launched in October 2021, eNaira CBDC was designed to help the unbanked in Africa’s most populous nation. However, widespread confusion and a general distrust of the ruling elite have made it difficult for its adoption among the 218 million inhabitants.

On November 3, geopolitical analyst Nick Giambruno expressed his thoughts on the CBDC situation, proclaiming that “eNaira has been a massive failure.”

Nigerians Prefer ‘Real’ Crypto

Nigeria has been a “petri dish” for central bankers, academics, politicians and a “variety of elites” from more than 100 countries, he added. In addition, they are monitoring things ahead of the launch of their own CBDCs, many of which are already in the pilot phase.

With only 1 in 200 people using eNaira, it has fallen well short of government expectations. This came as a surprise to the ruling elites, she added.

“They thought Nigerians couldn’t tell the difference between Bitcoin and eNaira – after all, they are both digital currencies.”

Nigerians are big on crypto, and the country ranks 11th globally in Bitcoin adoption. Furthermore, they are generally wary of anything the state imposes on them, favoring more unrestricted and decentralized digital assets.

In August, BeInCrypto reported that Nigeria led the global search trends for Bitcoin and crypto information. The growing demand for cryptocurrencies came after the central bank banned banks from providing cryptocurrency exchange services in February 2021.

In conclusion, Giambruno described it as a victory for freedom:

“The failure of CBDCs in Nigeria could throw sand into the wheels of the elites’ plan to roll them out around the world. That would be very positive for human freedom.”

Nigeria could now set a precedent for CBDC adoption (or rejection, it seems) in other countries planning rollout, such as China.

Global CBDC Implementation Perspective

According to the Atlantic Council, 15 countries are currently testing a CBDC, including China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia. It comes as no surprise that authoritarian regimes like these are leading the race to implement their state-controlled digital currencies.

Earlier this week, BeInCrypto reported on concerns surrounding a CBDC tied to national digital IDs. It would give autocratic governments the perfect tools to monitor and control what their citizens can spend and where.

In short, Nigerians have been the first to reject a full-scale CBDC, having seen what their leaders are actually doing.


BeInCrypto has reached out to the company or person involved in the story for an official statement on recent developments, but has yet to hear back.