Browsing: CBDC

CBDC is a digital currency issued by the central bank and intended to serve as legal tender while Crypto is a privately issued digital asset based on a network that is distributed across a large number of computers.

The fundamental difference between CBDC and Crypto is the former is asset-backed while the latter is not, so seeks to create value through some intrinsic mechanism like mining. One primary drawback is that the speculative nature of mining makes it considerably volatile.

This has given rise to “stable coins” which are crypto assets that aim to maintain a stable value relative to a specified asset, or a pool of assets. A Global Stable Coin (GSC) is a stable coin with potential reach and adoption across multiple jurisdictions and could achieve substantial volume down the line.

In October 2021 Nigeria became the first country in Africa and of among few in the world to issue a digital currency that was dubbed ‘eNaira’.

Financial experts say the digital currency issued by central banks cut transaction costs and increase financial inclusion.

Maurice Muhiza Rwamigabo, Head of Exploration & Coordinator at the Accelerator Lab (an innovation and technology lab) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Rwanda, said in an opinion article titled ‘Should Rwanda adopt a national digital currency?’ that if Rwanda wants to restructure its financial system and position itself as an important player in the future global economy, it should systematically assess and take the steps needed to develop its own Central Bank Digital CBDC. 

“A CBDC would offer Rwandans a safe, free, and easy alternative to cash. It would expand financial inclusion by enabling more of the unbanked population to participate in the formal economy,” explained Rwamigabo.

Whether Nigeria and Ghana will abandon their digital currencies and jump on the Eco train is an unclear narrative, but it appears unlikely because of the significant investments put into them and the optimism by the governments to embrace digital transformations.

Nigeria had banned cryptocurrency transactions in February last year which increased the popularity of the eNaira as an alternative for cross-border trade and remittance inflows.

eNaira critics say that the solutions being offered by the digital currency are already existing in online banking and bank card transactions.

Since Tanzania is still conducting research on cryptocurrencies, rules to govern the sector will be issued after research on crypto is complete. Currently, Tanzania has no regulations for cryptocurrencies and those trading in the sector have been urged to be cautious.
However, there is no timeframe for when regulations will be issued.
In June, President Suluhu asked the country’s financial leaders to prepare for crypto and blockchain as the country drops its conservatism and flies its doors open to the new era of digital currency.