Cryptocurrency Should Be Regulated Not Banned, Osinbajo Tells CBN

  • The Central Bank of Nigeria had prohibited dealing and facilitating payments in cryptocurrencies.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday opined that cryptocurrencies should be regulated in Nigeria in lieu of an outright ban.

He made the remarks during a keynote at the CBN/Bankers Committee’s Initiative for Economic Growth.

The CBN had recently reaffirmed its oppositional stance towards cryptocurrencies, placing huge restrictions on its trade within Nigeria.

The apex Bank argued that cryptocurrencies are “issued by unknown and unregulated entities” and are increasingly being used to conduct ”many illegal activities including money laundering, terrorism financing, purchase of small arms and light weapons, and tax evasion.”

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However, Osinbajo believes the CBN and other oversight agencies should consider regulating the financial technology rather than totally shut it down.

“It is clear to the government that we must find a way of moving the Nigerian digital economy into overdrive,” he said.

“First is that there is no question that blockchain technology generally and cryptocurrencies, in particular, will in the coming years challenge traditional banking, including reserve banking, in ways that we cannot yet imagine so we need to be prepared for that seismic shift.

“Clearly the future of money and finance, especially for traditional banking, must be as exciting as it is frightening. But as we have seen in many other sectors disruption makes room for efficiency and progress.

“Secondly, I 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.

“There is a role for regulation here. 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.”

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