The Nigerian socialmedia space has been hit by a statement released by the Central Bank of Nigeri, today, February 5, 2021, signed by the Director of Banking Supervision Bello Hassan and the Director of Payments System Management Department Musa I. Jomoh. The statement prohibits financial institutions in Nigeria from dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchange.
Indeed, cryptocurrency has become an increasingly popular investment option in Nigeria in the last few years. It is quite funny that awareness on cryptocurrency was as a result of an earlier ban attempt in 2017. The ignorance of the threatening regulator compounded as more Nigerians ended up securing more crypto investment. Confused, the Securities and Exchange Commission sought to regulate crypto operations sometimes last year buy including crypto as stocks. The efforts has proven futile and again, an abrupt call for a shutdown of bank accounts involved in crypto transactions have been made today.
The attempt to again an crypto related operations in Nigeria has triggered #WeWantOurCryptoBack campaign on Twitter and other socialmedia. I was harped to see how much young Nigerians are already into crypto and perhaps so much in Naira has been deposited. It also reveals that most traditional financial institutions have lost their customers to crypto investments which are more secure and profitable.
Will the Government Succeed?
This is the question that is fielding the Nigeria media space as anxiety has increased over the Billions of Naira that has been invested into crypto. it turns out that this call is an option by the Central Bank of Nigeria to call for regulation and perhaps from crypto earners. lead crypto project leaders like Bitcoin CHief has called for calm among investors of his novel TATCOIN.
With Peer-to-peer transactions which was meant to be the initial ay of trading crypto, it's obvious that the ban statement would only open up new business opportunity for crypto as more commissions could be imposed by exchanges in order to fund P2P transactions fro crypto holders who wish to withdraw their assets. It's quite sad that this is coming at a time when the whole is getting more fascinated about crypto and when it's becoming imminent that everyone should join.
Source: Central Bank of Nigeria’s website
A cursory look at a shpt of the letter above attached can show that there is no outright reason stated for the ban. There is no clause showing the fraudulent looks of crypto. An initial an attempt in 2017 was a warn on Nigerians that investing in crypto could be very risky. It turns out to funny that the government so gets concerned about the safety of her citizen's investment choices. There are games on the pipeline as we can see.
The attempts to ban crypto has been on the high spate in Africa and one wonders why the continent with high poverty index should be all out to control an option that can take many out of poverty.
As at 2018, Algeria, Lybia, Morroco, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe has prohibited crypto transactions in their countries. Others have remained indifferent asides South Africa and Senegal that allow a friendly progressive adoption of crypto among her citizens. Nigeria was supposed to be the break-out point for massive crypto adoption in Africa and government's ban statement will only hasten the process.
The new regulation attempt is one that calls for more options towards the use of crypto in eCommerce and POS options that can deliver fiat to the crypto holder outside of Banks. Let's watchout to see what happens in the next couple of days as another similar campaign to EndSars may erupt.
Quite funny seeing one of the responses on Twitter rather advising the Federal government to invest in crypto and cash-out the profits after 12 months to pay out its foreign debts.
Someone should tell the government that if they use Nigeria’s 2021 budget to buy Crypto and keep it for the next 10 months, we’d be debt free by December.
I think that's a really sincere advice as crypto has come to stay as the future of money.