Regulate Crypto Operations, Ban Needless – Osinbajo Tells CBN, SEC

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From Segun Amure, (The New Diplomat’s Abuja Bureau)

Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to come up with regulations for cryptocurrency operations in the country.

Osinbajo who spoke at the CBN Bankers’ Forum on Friday, noted that the ban on cryptocurrencies which has generated arguments among Nigerians was needless as it is not sustainable in the long-run.

He noted that cryptocurrencies will continue to challenge traditional banking system and also give room for efficiency and progress if allowed to work in the country.

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His statement reads, “Clearly, the future of money and finance especially traditional banking must be exciting as it is frightening but as we’ve seen in many other sectors disruption makes room for efficiency and progress,” he said.

“I fully appreciate the position of the CBN, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and some of the anti-corruption agencies on some of the abuses of cryptocurrencies and their well-articulated concerns.

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“I believe their position should be the subject of further reflection. There is a role for regulation here and it is in the place of our monetary authorities and SEC to provide a robust regulatory regime that addresses these serious concerns without necessarily killing the goose that might lay the golden eggs.”

“Cryptocurrencies in the coming years will challenge traditional banking, including reserve banking, in ways that we cannot yet imagine, so we need to be prepared for that seismic shift.

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The New Diplomat had earlier reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria had directed banks and other financial institutions to close accounts of persons or entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions.

In its explanation, Nigeria’s apex bank argues that cryptocurrencies pose the risk of loss of investments, money laundering, terrorism financing, illicit financial flows and other criminal activities to the country.

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