In a potentially risky move, the 15 member nations of ECOWAS – Economic Community of West African States  have agreed to launch Eco, a “common currency” similar to the method the EU uses. Eco is expected to make its debut in January 2020. In an attempt to create more frictionless trade, West African leaders are hoping to give a much-needed boost to many of the smaller economies in the region.

The crypto community was quick to point out that Eco isn’t a digital currency and it is not built on the blockchain. 

West Africa’s Eco Has Nothing To Do With Crypto 

Sorry cryptocurrency fans, Eco is not a digital coin offering. Instead, it is a regular old fiat currency, and there has been no indication whatsoever that it might incorporate blockchain technology. 

Eight ECOWAS Members Already Use A Single Currency

Naturally, when making a currency move of this scale, there are definite problems to overcome. The first of these is that eight nations in the ECOWAS already use a common currency – the CFA (West African or Central African Franc.) These nations are Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. The French treasury guarantees the CFA and pegs it to the euro

West Africa Seeks Financial Freedom From Its Colonial Past

This tie to France is mainly due to France’s colonial history in the region and leads us to one of the big political rather than financial arguments for the Eco. West Africa would love to be more self-sustaining financially, and they can’t go it alone until they have an independent currency. 

Nigerian Dominance In the Region Set To Expand


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