Ban on Crypto Currency In Nigeria: What Next?

The word “crypto” means concealed. Crypto currency is a digital asset designed to serve as a medium of exchange where individual coin ownership records are stored in a ledger existing in a form of computerized database using strong cryptography to secure transaction records.

When implemented with decentralized control, each crypto currency works through distributed ledger technology, typically a block chain, that serves as a public financial transaction database.( Source. Wikipedia)

February 5, 2021 is a day most Nigerians will never forget especially the crypto users. The CBN issued a notice that came in form of a letter which was later made to the public to local financial institutions on Friday, ordering them to shut down all bank accounts associated with crypto currency trading platforms. This move had been made in Jan. 12, 2017, about the holding, trading in crypto currencies.

This regulatory warning angered Nigerians has to why the government had to stop the trading of crypto currency in Nigeria.Most of them took their dissatisfaction to social media platforms. Nigeria Twitter users were expressing their disbelief in the government to why the action was taken.

In response to the letter made available to the public. A press statement was released, signed by Osita Nwanisobi Ag. Director of Corporate Communications. Banning crypto currency facilitation is necessary because they are used to commit crimes. It specifically mentioned terrorism and money laundering as crimes perpetrated with crypto currency. Judging by this statement, moved the users of crypto currency as to what he really meant by ” to commit crimes”.

During the EndSars protest, Bitcoins was used to serve as a medium of exchange between the funders and the people engaging in the protests. Companies, stores used that as a medium of what CBN really meant by to commit crimes made Nigerians to be perplexed.

Hannah Akuiyibo who is an Associate at the Woodrow Wilson International center for Scholars in Washington, D. C noted. Government and businesss all over the world are realizing that powerful potential usability of block chain… Nigeria, however, is lagging due to the government institutions’ sore- footedness and refractory approach to this undeniably ingenious innovation.

According to a report made by Hannah Akuiyibo, CBN devalued the naira twice last year, and the high cost of moving money into Nigeria has led Nigerians to seek alternatives through crypto currency. Nigeria is the world’s second -largest peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin market and the largest in Africa. Crypto trading , which totaled $566 million from 2015-2020, has increased yearly since 2015, with a jump of 30% in 2020.

Several countries in the world had placed a ban on Crypto currency in the past.some are China, Algeria, Russia, Morocco, Vietnam, Bolivia, Columbia and Ecuador. But can the ban really work in Nigeria?

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