Cryptocurrencies in the country should be regulated not banned or outright prohibition. This was the advice of Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), at the Bankers Committee Vanguard on Friday in Lagos. He, instead, called for the regulation.
“And it is in the place of both our monetary authorities and SEC to provide a robust regulatory regime that addresses these serious concerns without killing the goose that might lay the golden eggs.
“So it should be thoughtful and knowledge-based regulation, not prohibition,” he said.
The vice president was reacting to the recent clampdown on cryptocurrencies by the CBN. The CBN had ordered commercial banks and other financial institutions to close down accounts associated with cryptocurrencies. The apex bank later clarified that the order was not a new order, but a reminder of a directive published in 2017.
In response, banks quickly cut ties with cryptocurrency companies.
Since July 2020, Nigerian banks have reduced the amount customers can spend abroad using debit cards as Nigeria’s economy continued to face dollar shortages due to the sharp fall in oil prices. As of now, banks limit customers to withdraw less than $100.
This restriction made some Nigerians looked for a way to circumnavigate the restrictions set by financial institutions, hence, taking advantage of the digital currencies for their transactions.
Osinbajo said further: “fully appreciate the strong position of the CBN, SEC, and some of the anti-corruption agencies on the possible abuses of cryptocurrencies and their other well-articulated concerns, but I believe that their position should be the subject of further reflection.”
“The point I am making is that some of the exciting developments we see call for prudence and care in adopting them, but we must act with knowledge and not fear,” he said.