The quantity of cash that Nigerians can withdraw from ATMs is now subject to additional limitations and restrictions. The choice appears to be an effort to promote the nation's new CBDC, the eNaira.

According to the guideline, ATM withdrawals from individuals and organizations must not exceed $45 (20,000 naira) per day and $225 (100,000 naira) every week. Processing fees of 5% for individuals and 10% for corporations would apply to bank withdrawals of over $225 (100,000 naira) and $1,125 (500,000 naira).

The rule specifies that cashback received through point-of-sale terminals is similarly limited to $45 (20,000 naira) every day.

Reports claim that Haruna Mustafa, director of financial supervision, said:

“Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (Internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira, etc.) to conduct their banking transactions.”

When Nigeria unveiled the eNaira in October 2021, it was among the first governments to introduce a CBDC. But traction has been scant. According to a Bloomberg article, only 0.5% of Nigerians are thought to be using the digital Naira. Through laws like these, it now aims to increase usage.

Bitcoiners have been loud critics of CBDCs, pointing out a number of shortcomings that make Bitcoin a preferable alternative. Bitcoin supporters contend that CBDCs can result in disproportionate policing of the populace, unlimited control over their finances, and a complete lack of sovereignty over the devaluation of a currency.

Beyond that, Bitcoiners have argued that CBDCs are not only fundamentally terrible but also that it is highly unlikely that they would succeed because the infrastructure required to operate them as envisioned is either nonexistent or cannot be created by incompetent governments. Some have even suggested that stablecoins could serve as carriers for the characteristics of CBDCs, suggesting that CBDCs only serve to draw attention away from the incentive perversion that stablecoins produce.

The desperation of governments as they struggle to keep their citizens inside the confines of their monetary systems is evident in developments like these ATM limitations. Despite this desire, Bitcoin businesses like Strike are working to develop the necessary infrastructure so that individuals can have access to a sovereign alternative to CBDCs. Nigeria is now the largest bitcoin market in Africa in terms of volume thanks to this tenacity.

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