In respect to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) tightening its grip on cryptocurrency-related transactions, the eNaira continues to lure individuals, with 78,000 merchants from over 160 countries on board just weeks after its debut.

This was disclosed by the CBN which has remained staunch in its crackdown on cryptocurrency transactions, amid claims that banks have increased their efforts to stop cryptocurrency-related transactions.

The crackdown resulted in a 43 percent decease in Nigerian peer-to-peer transactions. Nigerians accounted for around $9.4 million in weekly P2P volumes, followed by Kenyans and South Africans, who accounted for nearly $2.8 million and $1.8 million respectively.

What the CBN is saying

In a phone chat, the Central Bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Osita Nwanisobi said the adoption of the eNaira has been “excellent”

 “More than 488,000 people have downloaded the consumer wallet – that’s needed to transact eNaira – while about 78,000 merchants from more than 160 countries have enrolled,” he said.

Nwanisobi added that about N62 million worth of the virtual currency have been traded since it was introduced.

The thread of CBN’s expression of pessimism for cryptocurrency

  • Nairametrics reported in 2018 that the apex bank issued a statement reiterating that cryptocurrencies are not a legal tender and as such, are illegal.
  • Next was a circular dated 5th February 2021 where the CBN cautioned local financial institutions not to conduct cryptocurrency transactions or facilitate payments for cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • During the monetary council meeting held in May 2021, the CBN governor stated that most cryptocurrency transactions are illegitimate.
  • The CBN urged all Nigerians to embrace the eNaira saying that it is more reliable than cryptocurrencies
  • The Nigerian Central Bank took further steps and blocked the bank accounts of some fintech platforms in August.
  • On October 25, 2021, the Federal High Court in Abuja had vacated with immediate effect an interim ruling under which the CBN froze the bank accounts of RiseVest Technologies in two banks.

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