- Nigerian Central Bank pushes its citizens to digitalized cash.
- ATM withdrawals had daily limits of 20,000 NGN ($43.50) to 100,000 NGN ($217).
- This led to Bitcoin Premium hitting 60%, approximately $38,989.
Nigeria’s central bank continues to encourage the use of digital currency, as per the tweet by Coingecko.
Currently, the price of 1 Bitcoin (BTC) on the Nigerian crypto exchange NairaEX is 17.8 million nairas, which is equivalent to $38,792. This will be strikingly higher than a 60% premium over the current market price of BTC, which is $23,700.
The Nigerian government has aimed to promote cashless currency and imposed limits on ATM cash withdrawals where citizens were permitted to withdraw a maximum of 20,000 NGN (about $43.50) per day from cash machines, with a daily limit of 100, 000 NGN (approximately $217).
It is to be noted that this move came only days before new naira banknotes were introduced with the aim of thwarting money laundering and curbing inflation. The central bank had imposed a deadline – January 24, 2023 to exchange their old, higher denomination currency for the newly issued currency.
This was received with much criticism from the public as they felt they didn’t have enough time to fulfill the deadline to which the bank extended the last date.
This is the second time that the price of BTC has increased in Nigeria, as noted in this article. The first instance was when BTC premium rose to 36% when the central bank barred licensed financial services from offering their services to cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.
As per the report, the central bank of Nigeria created a local card program, to compete with global cards such as Mastercard and Visa. This was in an attempt to provide Nigerians with improved access to bank card services while avoiding often-expensive international card fees and conversion expenses, the bank issued the “AfriGo” card program.