Bitcoin is trading at $60,000 – at least on the crypto exchanges of the West African state of Nigeria. Because since the government has been pushing for the introduction of its own digital central bank currency, the eNaira, interest in a decentralized, public and secure alternative to the CBDC has been growing rapidly. Bitcoin has become the antidote to centralized money control for citizens. And that has its price.
This is why the BTC price has risen so much
The Nigerian Monetary Authority recently announced the planned Deadline for submitting old banknotes set for February 10th. The government is thus replacing the old banknotes with new ones. The measure is intended to accelerate the switch to the digital central bank currency (CBDC) and curb counterfeiting, inflation and money laundering.
Due to the resulting shortage of cash, the demand for Bitcoin has increased. However, because the supply is extremely limited, the BTC price on peer-to-peer platforms (P2P) like LocalBitcoins is at an average price of 38,000 US dollars. Around 65 percent above the current price per coin of $23,000. Other sales offers even amount to more than 60,000 US dollars per Bitcoin.
This increased interest can be measured. Most online searches in Nigeria account for noisy Google trending currently on the terms “Buy Bitcoin” and “How to buy Bitcoin”.
CBDC: Nigeria wants to promote eNaira
Nigeria is among the few countries that have already adopted a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The eNaira is part of the monetary policy agenda”cashless nigeria“. The central bank sees great potential for the financial infrastructure in the digitization of money: “An efficient and modern payment system correlates positively with economic development and is an important factor for economic growth.”
But the acceptance of the eNaira among the population is still low. It is estimated that less than 0.5 percent of citizens use CBDC. To increase acceptance of the eNaira, the government restricted cash withdrawals from the beginning of January. Private individuals can therefore only withdraw USD 45 per day from ATMs. If the withdrawal amounts are exceeded, a fee of five percent will be charged.
It remains to be seen whether the government will be successful with these strict measures in the future. With the increasing establishment of Bitcoin among the population, the state finally has a serious competitor currency.