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Nigeria May Ease Crypto Ban Following Calls For Regulation

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  • The Central Bank of Nigeria might ease its crypto ban following calls for crypto regulations.
  • The ban aims to safeguard the Nigerian economy from unregulated crypto trading.
  • However, the country’s SEC has vehemently stood against the ban.

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) decision to ban banks and other financial institutions from engaging in cryptocurrency transactions is giving shockwaves over the country. The reason for the continuous debate is evident.

On the other hand, a cryptocurrency trading platform showed Nigeria was second only to the United States in terms of volume. Besides, Nigerians are one of the largest downloaders of crypto wallets.

Cryptocurrency in Nigeria

Also, market sources said the apex bank decided to safeguard the Nigerian economy from the effects of unregulated cryptocurrency trading. Some analysts said dollar inflows meant for the Nigerian foreign exchange market and channeled foreign reserves are now into the cryptocurrency market.

Meanwhile, Afrinvest West Africa Managing Director Abiodun Keripe said CBN had observed a dangerous trend. Foreign capital inflows into Nigeria are set to cryptocurrency markets with zero regulation.

Keripe also mentioned that the unregulated market remains active where upwardly mobile and youths make income. He said Nigeria lacks digital assets needed for efficient monitoring and regulation to enable Nigerian regulators to track crypto exchanges worldwide.

He explained that,

“The Nigeria Stock Exchange records an average of N2 billion daily transactions, the cryptocurrency market is over that, and Nigeria is the biggest crypto market in Africa. Nigeria has sold over 600,000 Bitcoins in the last year. With each Bitcoin worth about $38,000.”

Furthermore, Keripe revealed that funds are now flowing back into the cryptocurrency market amid CBN’s tightened policy. It mandated International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) to pay diaspora remittances beneficiaries in dollars.

Lastly, Timi Agama, head of Exchanges and a spokesperson of the country’s SEC, vehemently stood against the ban. The Nigerian SEC said that there is much investment running into the cryptocurrency market. “We need to review, understand, appreciate and introduce regulations that will guide the market’s movement in this direction,” they expressed.

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