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Don’t kill ‘the goose that might lay the golden eggs’, Osinbajo advises CBN on cryptocurrencies



Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to regulate cryptocurrencies instead of prohibiting them in the country.

Ripples Nigeria had reported that the CBN had, a few weeks ago, ordered all deposit money banks, non-banking institutions, and other financial institutions against enabling cryptocurrency tradings.

The CBN also ordered the institutions to close the accounts of customers with cryptocurrency transactions immediately, adding that a breach of the directive would attract severe regulatory sanctions.

But the vice president, while speaking at the Bankers Committee Vanguard in Lagos, said that fear should not be applied regarding cryptocurrencies.

According to Osinbajo, the monetary authorities should rather provide a “robust regulatory regime” that will address the concerns about cryptocurrencies.

READ ALSO: IMF backs CBN ban on cryptocurrency in Nigeria

“The point I’m making is that some of the exciting developments we see call for prudent and care in adopting them, and this has been very well articulated by our regulatory authorities,” he said.

“But we must act with knowledge and not with fear. We must ensure that we are in a position to benefit and prevent any of the adverse side effects or any of the possible criminal acts that may arise as the consequence of our adopting or taking any of these options.

“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’s 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”, the vice president said.

Osinbajo further expressed optimism that cryptocurrencies “will challenge traditional banking, including reserve banking, in ways that we cannot yet imagine” in the coming years.

Apart from Osinbajo, one of the members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic advisory team, Bismarck Rewane of Financial Derivatives, has also spoken out in favour of cryptocurrency adoption.
Former presidential candidate, Moghalu also said if he was still a deputy governor at CBN, he would have spoken out against the ban on cryptocurrency. He also said CBN was in no position to dictate how Nigerians chose to transact.
Tech investor, Victor Asemota has also criticised the CBN’s decision.

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