The e-Naira, which went live in October 2021, has been ranked first among different efforts by Central banks to establish Central Bank Digital currencies (CBDCs).
The e-Naira was first among retail CBDCs as can be seen in the screen grab above.
CBDC efforts by the Bahamas and China came second and third respectively, according to the index developed by accounting firm, pricewaterhouse coopers (PwC).
The 2022 PwC CBDC Global Index analyzes and ranks the leading retail and wholesale CBDC projects. The Index evaluates the current stage of a CBDC project development while also taking into account the central bank opinion and public interest.
Overall, retail CBDC projects (digital currencies designed for public use) have reached greater maturity levels than wholesale projects (digital currencies used by financial institutions that have accounts with central banks), but the past year has seen progress on a number of successful wholesale pilots.
The index also ranked the wholesale CBDCs even though it added that this variety has not reached the same maturity as retail CBDCs.
Here, it can be seen that South Africa’s interbank settlement system, dubbed Project Khokha, has been ranked highly among these wholesale CBDCs.
While countries are pursuing CBDCs for varied reasons, some of the top reasons identified by PwC include:
Increasing financial inclusion
Facilitating cross border payments
Controlling financial crime
Speaking about the reasons for CBDC adoption, John Garvey, Global Financial Services Leaders, PwC, U.S., said:
“One thing that is clear, lowering the cost of payments in an economy provides value throughout the economy and for citizens. If CBDCs can ultimately enable more efficient payments, that will benefit everyone.”
– Financial Services Leaders, PwC, U.S.
A key determination of the report also was that 80% of Central Banks globally are pursuing CBDCs and the successful roll out in Nigeria will encourage more of the banks to progress on their own versions.