Fresh reports have emerged showing cryptocurrencies may finally have a legal backing in Nigeria following a move by the House of Representatives to legalize crypto trading after its ban in February last year.
According to the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Institutions, Babangida Ibrahim, the chamber would soon pass the Investments and Securities Act, 2007 (Amendment) Bill which will allow cryptocurrency and other digital funds to be officially recognized by the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC.
The roles of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and SEC as regulatory bodies will also be defined as regarding the digital currency.
Recall as a fallout of the EndSARS crises which erupted in the country late 2020, the federal government had taken decisive steps to curb the trade and use of cryptocurrency across the country.
The CBN had mandated banks and other financial institutions to close all accounts of all entities operating cryptocurrency exchanges noting that dealing with cryptocurrencies and facilitating payments through them were illegal.
However, the ban still had little influence in the trade volume from Nigeria as the country maintained its dominant position in crypto trade across Africa.
Within the same period the ban was enforced, Bitcoin Magazine reported that Africa surpassed North America and became the continent with the largest volume of bitcoin peer-to-peer trading in the world with $18,073,777 negotiated in Local Bitcoins trade.
Chain analysis also showed Nigeria’s adoption rate soared in its 2022 report with the country coming first in Africa and 11th in the overall global ranking. Ibrahim in an interview with The Punch reiterated the fact that Nigeria must flow with global economic innovations.
“Like I said earlier 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 global practices. In recent time, there are a lot of changes within the capital market, especially with the introduction of digital currencies, commodity exchanges and so many other things that are essential, that need to be captured in the new Act” Ibrahim stated.
The proposed legislation will be a major catalyst for Africa’s most populated country in terms of cryptocurrency adoption as it would legally address the growing bitcoin usage in the country,