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Osinbajo to CBN: Let cryptocurrencies survive, regulate it


Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies rather than kill it.

Osinbajo made the call on Friday while delivering a keynote speech at the CBN/Bankers Committee’s Initiative for Economic Growth.

His call comes weeks after the Apex bank banned exchanges from carrying out cryptocurrency-related transactions saying the digital assets are issued by unknown and unregulated entities and are increasingly being used to conduct illegal activities like money laundering, terrorism financing, purchase of small arms and light weapons, and tax evasion.

However, the vice president said cryptocurrencies can be regulated rather than being banned.

In his words:

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

“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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