BBan cryptocurrency – The latest move by the Nigerian apex bank (CBN) on 5th February 2021 being Friday has sent panic, chills and reactions across Nigerian investors at the cryptocurrency market.
The regulatory body actually sent a circular to the Nigerian financial institutions who have played pivotal role in lending support towards facilitating money transfer, in and out of the cryptocurrency exchanges.
To further enhance seamless and easy trading, purchases and investment among Nigerian investors.
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This decision falls under heavy criticisms as Nigerians took to various social media platforms to lament the inhuman economic policy of the CBN, considering how unemployed Nigerians survive by trading bitcoin.
One of the hash tags that trends on twitter in the heat of this was #WewantOurCryptoBack, as reported by data obtained by SproutSocial, it trends over 26,000 times significantly.
To a large extent, everyone believes it’s a great disservice to the dying economy, while promoting unemployment which has been the bane of the Nigerian national life.
A number of Nigerian youths have reportedly carved a means of livelihood for themselves by investing their fortunes in bitcoin, which turns out to be a wise investment decision.
Considering how the price of this crypto appreciates in 2020, it made more millionaires from the younger Nigerian generation according to a recent report, thus drifting attention from the government’s inability to provide employment for the teaming youths.
What CBN claimed was the reason behind its decision perceive as ban cryptocurrency
In the heat of this, CBN was forced to clear the air as Nigerians dragged the apex bank’s inconsequential economic policy, not minding the pains of lingering COVID-19 on businesses and citizen’s welfare.
In its statement, CBN says its letter only reiterates to the financial institutions its position on cryptocurrency, which states that facilitation of cryptocurrency transactions is prohibited under a 2017 circular.
Also in the 2017 circular is that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in the country as such should not be supported in any way.
Amongst other excuses is that bitcoin facilitates money laundering, terrorism financing and other related crimes since it’s being operated on the basis of anonymity.
Contrary to this claim, money laundering and terrorism financing had been on high gear before ever Nigerians showed interest in cryptocurrency.
This may just appear as a typical scenario of giving a dog a bad name just because you want it hanged.
The world has always had a raising crime rate, it’s left for every government to further tighten up and fasten its security loopholes.
Suffocating a means is out of these options, as this may further heighten crime rate.
The actual reason behind CBN’s decision
According to reports, this may not be unconnected with the #Endsars protest, recall, protesters in Nigeria used bitcoin to raise funds after authorities reportedly shuttered bank accounts associated with the movement.
The government may be growing so afraid of a possible repeat of such scenario in the future.
Additionally, in the light of growing price of bitcoin in 2020, Nigerians move funds massively from the fiat through the banks to invest in the crypto.
Nigerians were typically moving money from the naira to crypto, this is what CBN evaluates and takes exception with, these remains the real truth from the economic point of view.
On the faith of cryptocurrency in Nigeria
CBN did not ban cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria, it rather advised the financial institutions to stop the movement of funds into the crypto exchanges.
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No doubt, this will to an extent affect the movement of fiat, but bitcoin trading in Nigeria is on peer -to-peer platforms.
While the move impacts fiat, be mindful of the fact that majority of the crypto trading in Nigeria happen on peer-to-peer ends.
CBN did not ban cryptocurrency actually, it however reiterates its commitment and decision to stamp out or aid the movement of funds into crytocurrency exchanges through the Nigerian financial institutions.
It however ordered the banks to desist from such operations forthwith.