Despite the Nigerian Central Bank banning cryptocurrency, Nigeria has recorded 15% increase in the peer-to-peer trading volume of bitcoin. The ban was imposed on crypto in February 2021. But it hasn’t done much to deter investors and crypto enthusiasts.
Data shows that crypto adoption increased during the year, hitting 24%. This ranked Nigeria ahead of Malaysia and Australia in terms of highest adoption rate. It also shows that Nigerians are very much keen on crypto.
As such, the Nigerian Vice-President has asked the central bank to regulate digital assets instead of banning it. Moreover, Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN) has urged the central bank to reconsider its decision. The Nigerian blockchain advocacy group is adamant on crypto saying that its legit. It has started a Twitter campaign to get cryptocurrencies regulated in the country.
The advocacy group has also called on the government ministries and various bodies to help cryptocurrencies get recognition as a regulated asset class. It wants equal access to banking and financial services by virtual asset service providers (VASPs) without discrimination. And it should be in line with the Nigerian Constitution and applicable laws, particularly the country’s anti-money laundering regulations. SIBAN hopes this approach will enhance the country’s law enforcement agencies, including the Nigerian Police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
It suggested for the country’s SEC and relevant regulators to be included in attempts to regulate cryptocurrencies as per their statutory duties. Meanwhile, the Nigerian government has shown keen interest in the central bank digital currency (CBDC) e-Naira. The government wants to leverage on the benefits of distributed ledger technology. It has shown positive response to the idea of digitized economies and innovations.