Nigerian Blockchain Advocacy Group Calls Crypto “Legit”; Insists On Regulation


The Nigerian Government had imposed a ban on crypto exactly a year ago in February 2021. The ban did nothing in terms of putting a lid on cryptocurrency trading; crypto adoption started to look promising in the African country.

Stakeholder in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN), the Nigerian Blockchain Advocacy Group has now urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to regulate the asset. SIBAN stated that crypto is a legit asset and should not be banned, instead of regulated.

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SIBAN mentioned that “Crypto is Legit” and went on to create a Twitter campaign in order to make the Nigerian Government reconsider its decision to ban crypto.

Access To Financial And Banking Services Without Discrimination

Nigerian Citizens along with citizens of other African nations have been very enthusiastic and positive about cryptocurrency, therefore, propelling the adoption rates considerably.

Crypto supporters all across the nation have decided to fight a legal battle with the Nigerian Central Bank too, as the move to ban the asset has been termed as “Financial Terrorism”.

The advocacy group invited other crypto proponents to help make crypto a regulated and recognized asset. SIBAN had released a statement that spoke in favor of acknowledging snd encouraging the adoption of the digital asset.

SIBAN stated, “Today we advocate equal access to banking and financial services by virtual asset service providers (VASPs) without discrimination in accordance with the Nigerian Constitution, applicable laws, and particularly Nigerian laws on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulations. Amongst other benefits, this approach will aid investigations by our law enforcement agencies, including the Nigeria Police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),”

The Nigerian Vice President too joined the cause and has asked crypto to be regulated and not banned. It is, however, quite uncertain if the promoters of crypto will be able to successfully lobby into driving a change into effect in the future.

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Despite Nigeria’s tough stance on crypto, the nation’s crypto adoption rates stood at 24%. On this metric, Nigeria surpassed Malaysia and Australia in terms of adoption rate, making it the country with the highest adoption rate.

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P2P platforms and their usage has also ascended $400 million trades happening through these platforms.

SIBAN has also stated that Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators must be included while making decisions about regulating the asset as this falls in accordance with “their statutory duties under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Regulators should adopt a regulatory approach that encourages innovation while discouraging bad actors, not all actors. While concerned about the risks often associated with crypto, the role of regulation is not to make risks disappear but manage them in accordance with global best practices and in collaboration with all concerned stakeholders, including industry players, stated the Nigerian Securities and Exchnage Commission.

SEC was had initially issued a circular stating that crypto assets were considered securities in the year 2020, however, the February 5, 2021’s statement from the Central Bank of Nigeria had caused SEC to suspend all such circulars.

Is The Nigerian Government Open To CBDC?

Much like other countries that have regulated crypto, Nigeria also wants to create its own CBDC. The nation seems to be quite optimistic about leveraging the strengths of blockchain technology along with introducing other developments.

Nigeria wishes to digitalize its economy by innovating new methods of transaction that would function on distributed ledger technology. In addition, the intention also is to ensure that cryptocurrencies have little effect on the national currency’s stability.

In other news, India also proposed the creation of their own CBDCs while China has completed major tests regarding the same.

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