African Nations Trialing CBDC After Nigeria’s e-Naira

  • South Africa and Ghana are now trialing their own CBDC.
  • Nigeria has formally launched its e-Naira after a successful pilot that ran for months.
  • The Bahamas is the first country in the world to launch its CBDC, followed by Nigeria.

More African countries are now trialing their own central bank digital currency (CBDC) following Nigeria’s official launching of its own e-Naira.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), at least South Africa and Ghana are hot on the heels of Nigeria. Specifically, the South African Reserve Bank is now running tests with its wholesale CBDC. Financial institutions in the country are using the CBDC to transfer money across banks.

What is more, South Africa is reportedly participating in a cross-border trial with other countries from different continents such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia.

Meanwhile, Ghana is conducting a peer-to-peer (P2P) pilot of its e-Cedi. In detail, Ghanans are transferring money with the use of either a digital wallet app or an offline contactless smart card. 

However, it may take some time before these countries finish their CBDC pilot and decide whether to formally replace their physical fiat with the digital counterpart. In the case of Nigeria, the e-Naira started its pilot back in October 2021, and only earlier this week did it finish its trial and officially launch the CBDC.

Nigeria is the second country in the world to formally launch its CBDC — the Bahamas is the first. Meanwhile, China, which has been undergoing its e-CNY pilot since a couple of years ago, has yet to finish its testing.

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Jesus covers news related to the crypto space in Asia and in Australia, although he follows the latest events in the US and Europe as well. He is most interested in the blockchain gaming and regulation aspects of the industry.