Legalize Bitcoin – The chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions of Nigeria; Babangida Ibrahim asserts Nigeria will soon pass a law to legalize the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The bill as claimed will amend the 2007 Investments and Security and Securities Act, as well as recognize bitcoin as a legal capital for investment.
Recall, in February 2021, Nigeria effectively banned the use of bitcoin, and it issued a letter prohibiting financial institutions and businesses from dealing with cryptocurrencies.
It was reported that Nigeria adopted the bitcoin peer-2-peer trading, soaring to its largest volume in the world the same year as a means to bypass the crypto assets ban in Africa’s most populous nation.
Ibrahim pointed out that the stand to legalize bitcoin comes with a concern that Nigeria is behind regarding the regulation of the industry.
In his words; “During the second reading, we need an efficient and vibrant capital market in Nigeria. For us to do that, we have to be up to date with global practices.”
If the proposed regulation properly addresses the growing bitcoin usage within the country, it could be a major catalyst for the African most populous nation.
“It’s not about lifting the ban only, we are looking at the legality; what is legal and what within the framework of our operations in Nigeria.”
“When cryptocurrency was initially banned in Nigeria, the CBN discovered that most of these investors don’t even use local accounts. So, they are not within the jurisdiction of the CBN. Because they are not using local accounts, there’s no way the CBN can check them,” Ibrahim explained.
In addition to the assignment of legal recognition to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the law will outline the regulatory roles of the Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigeria’s Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) on matters relating to digital currencies.
The Nigerian government’s efforts to crack down on crypto activity earlier on were arguably ineffective too, as adoption continued to increase following the bank in February 2021.
Bitcoin has had a large presence in the country despite the current ban, including the construction of a bitcoin village, Nigerian Bitcoiners participating in all sorts of development, philanthropic work from Bitcoin companies, and mining being an active industry.