Lots of reactions have trailed the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) recent directive to banks to close accounts relating to trading or dealers in cryptocurrency.
The directive was a reiteration of the 2017 circular which described Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as illegal in the country.
But in an interview with The NewsBeam, a cryptocurrency analysts, Mr. Muideen Adegoke, said the action of the CBN is not progressive.
Mr. Adegoke has over six years experience as cryptocurrency analysts and is now the Chief Executive Officer, EFX Commodities Limited.
He told The NewsBeam:
“For whatever reason this was initiated, it’s of no use. You can’t possibly stop your citizens from transacting in a currency that’s been helping the country’s economy in terms of inflow. For example, it only takes a single crypto exchange company a day to transact the volume of overall Nigeria weekly stock exchange. It’s of no comparison rather it’s an advantage for Nigeria’s currency.”
He added that cryptocurrency trading “has become a key factor for employment for a decade now in the country” he highlighted that:
“The way Nigerians have adopted the currency has reduced job hunting in the country and alleviated poverty to an extent. Killing this means is like setting your country back by putting more pressures on the government to, by all means, provide jobs for its citizens.”
Commenting on the reasons identified by the apex bank for banning cryptocurrency, the cryptocurrency analyst said:
“The reasons do not justify the action. From decentralisation, it appears no one has power over them (cryptocurrencies). They are products of technology advancement. The world will not continue on the same path.
“Before, we use post office to communicate with people through letter, but when telephone came, that means was replaced and the latter would be chosen by you and I a million times without debate.
“Now, many countries who have adopted these cryptos now have their machines for withdrawing cash and transfer of funds. I am not saying the digital currency would finally replace banks but it’s a mode that is more simpler than fiat currencies. Consequently, people will prefer making use of cryptocurrencies,” he added.
Reacting to the anonymity of cryptocurrencies, Mr. Muideen said “the anonymity is simply because nothing can have access to or have authority over it’s decentralised system, so, no debate on that.”
Contrary to the CBN’s claim that it’s directive is “not in any way, shape or form inimical to the development of FinTech or a technology-driven payment system.” Mr. Muideen refuted that the “effect of the directive will slow down many Fintech companies.”
“The effect of the directive will slow down many Fintech companies. Some of which were solely for crypto exchange (That is, buying and selling of crypto for goods and services…) The world is evolving and the crypto world is a decentralized market. So, it’s necessary to move the way the world moves.”
“It’s Also pertinent to note that one of the major uses of cryptocurrency is for sending and receiving payment at low cost and less time which would have otherwise taken a longer time and probably more cost if we are to go by the banking system,” he added.
Mr. Muideen advised that Nigerians who trades in cryptocurrencies “not to lose hope as cryptos are here to stay until another innovation comes to challenge it in future.”
He added that; “many countries have attempted to ban it but failed so, this also is a fight to the end. Meanwhile, government cannot ban crypto, they only don’t want their banks to serve as intermediaries for the usage. The youth should be focused and most importantly don’t always trade all cryptos but those listed on coinmarket cap with good ratings.”
Mr. Muideen Adegoke is a cryptocurrency analyst with over 6 years experience. He is presently the Chairman and CEO of Elegance Flagx Commodities, a forex trading firm in Nigeria.