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Cryptocurrency: There is a place for regulation, not prohibition – Osinbajo

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YEMI Osinbajo, vice president, has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regulate cryptocurrency in Nigeria rather than prohibit its use.

Osinbajo said this on Friday during his keynote address at the CBN Bankers’ Committee/Vanguard Economic Summit in Abuja.

The vice president said while he appreciated the position of the apex bank, the SEC and other security agencies on the abuse of cryptocurrencies, he believed that there was room for ‘further reflection’ on their decisions.

“There are other well-articulated concepts, but I believe that their position should be the subject for 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 concepts without necessarily killing the goose that that lays the egg,” Osinbajo said.

He was reacting to the recent directive of the CBN and the position of other related agencies over the use of cryptocurrencies in Nigeria.

The ICIR had reported on Thursday that Bolaji Owasanoye, chair of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), had said that virtual assets and cryptocurrencies were risky for Nigeria.

Owasonaye said the system for the wallet of a cryptocurrency user only stored information or encrypted links in the blockchain where transaction confirmation could be found, revealing that over 3.5 billion dollar worth of bitcoin was associated with criminality in 2020.

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The CBN had, on February 5, directed all financial institutions in Nigerian to shun crypto-based transactions.

Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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