Central Bank Digital Currency and the Cashless Economy:The African Experience
Purpose: The article introduces the essence of central bank digital currency (CBDC), their advantages and potential risks associated with their implementation. Using the example of African countries testing CBDC to accelerate the transition toward fully cashless systems, special attention is given to the issue of public reaction. Design/Methodology/Approach: Critical analysis of the literature, case studies, synthesis and logical reasoning. Findings: The experience of African countries – especially Nigeria – shows that the widespread adoption of digital currencies and the transition to 100 percent cashless economies, will be difficult. The benefits of adopting CBDC may be outweighed by negative aspects, especially the lack of trust and acceptance by citizens. Practical Implications: A discussion of the transformation of the banking and financial sector, drawing on the experiences of other countries, can increase citizens' awareness of the short- and long-term consequences of change. It can also prompt policymakers to consider not only political benefits, but also – and perhaps most importantly – the public interest. Originality/Value: The article deepens the discussion on the effects of the monetary revolution taking place before our eyes. Politicians focus on highlighting the advantages of digital currencies. The example of Nigeria, on the other hand, proves that people are well aware of the dangers of depriving them of cash, and thus freedom and privacy. An attempt to impose top-down control over the monetary sphere could trigger unrest and violent social protests with political and economic, and even systemic, consequences that are difficult to predict.