Nigeria Set To Make Bitcoin And Crypto Usage Legal With A New Bill
Babangida Ibrahim, who is the chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets, and institutions have made a disclosure to the public that the house will soon pass a bill that will legalise the use of digital currencies in the country. Following the passage of the bill into law, digital assets like crypto will be considered as capital for investment, and the extent of the regulatory roles of the SEC and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with regard to digital currency will be defined.
Nigeria Makes A Turnaround, About To Legalise Crypto
Following the #EndSARS protest back in October 2020, the central bank of Nigeria mandated all financial institutions to fish out accounts dealing with crypto exchanges and close all of them. According to the CBN then, the use of crypto as a way of making payments is not legal.
The development has been associated with the fact that over $150,000 was raised to fight against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian police unit. Since then, several bank accounts suspected of dealing with crypto have been banned.
However, Ibrahim Babangida, in an interview stated the need for the company to keep up with the constantly evolving finance sector, and as such, two proposed bills aiming to legalise crypto transactions are already on their way to being signed into law.
Ibrahim stated that, apart from lifting the ban, what the House of Representatives intends to do is review the existing law and put in place regulations that would be binding. Thus, when the Investments and Securities Act of 2007 (Amendment) Bill is finally passed into law, the extent of the regulatory roles of the SEC and the CBN will be determined.
It is to be noted, however, that despite the ban, a great deal of Nigerians still trades crypto, especially because of its “relative stability” in the global sense compared to the country’s naira.
Nigeria’s Adoption of the Cashless Policy
The Nigerian government’s preference for its citizens to adopt the cashless policy cannot go unnoticed. Since the introduction of the
eNaira, which is the central bank digital currency (CBDC), the central bank has continued to push for the adoption of a cashless economy.
In this regard, the CBN issued a directive a few weeks ago instructing the deposit of the naira for a redesign and placing a partial ban on cash withdrawals across all outlets in the country.
As it is, Nigerians are encouraged to explore other means of payment that would require less cash in order to scale the economy and prevent the use of the excess naira in circulation for illegal activities among other reasons.
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