The Bank of Central African States, or Banque des États de l’Afrique, which serves Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo, may be closer to issuing a central bank digital currency. at the behest of his government.

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According to a Bloomberg report Friday, the board of directors sent an email urging a regional bank to introduce a digital currency to modernize payment structures and promote financial inclusion in the region. The Central African Republic, or CAR, passed legislation in April to accept bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender in the country, but did not recognize the central bank digital currency, or CBDC.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria was one of the first in the region to launch a CBDC called eNaira in October 2021, while the Reserve Bank of South Africa continues to explore the use of CBDCs through its Project Khokha initiative. The Bank of Central African States also criticized Nigeria for accepting BTC as legal tender, calling the move “problematic” and something that could have a “significant negative impact” on the Central African currency union.

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Sub-Saharan Africa could face significant challenges in deploying cryptocurrencies and CBDCs to areas with limited access to electricity, both for transmission and mining. According to World Bank 2020 data, CAR and Chad are both classify among the lowest percentages of the population with access to electricity at 15.5% and 11.1% respectively.

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Following the adoption of Bitcoin, CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadéra announced in June that the country would host a crypto initiative called the Sango Project, which includes a “legal crypto hub” and a special economic zone in the metaverse. Africa remains one of the fastest growing digital asset markets in the world – Cryptooshala reported in March that cryptocurrency transactions are up 2,670% year-over-year in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Dakar.