Crypto will ‘come to life’ in Nigeria : Central Bank Governor
Central Bank of Nigeria Governor expressed confidence that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) will be legal in the country.
Governor Godwin Emefiele officially announced at the 279th meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee in Abuja. Emefiele did not directly mention a decision to reverse the CBN’s February ban of institutions from buying and selling crypto but noted that the bank has been investigating the industry. He said:
“We are committed in the CBN, and I can assure everybody that digital currency will come to life even in Nigeria [...] Under cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, Nigeria comes 2nd, while on the global side of the economy, Nigeria comes 27th. We are still conducting our investigation, and we will make our data available.”
Emefiele also said the Nigerian government will do its best to prevent crypto from being used to finance illicit activities. “We found out that a substantial percentage of our people are getting involved in cryptocurrency, which is not the best. Don’t get me wrong, some may be legitimate, but most are illegitimate,” he added.
While speaking on crypto market crash in mid-May, Governor concerned largely attributed to Tesla’s decision to suspend Bitcoin payments for its cars and Elon Musk’s further criticism of BTC. He stated:
“We saw the market collapse. Initially, when Elon Musk tweeted around the time when we said our banking and payment facilities are no longer available for cryptocurrency transactions, and he tweeted that he will invest $1.5 billion, and the price went up. He now tweeted and raised a few concerns, and the thing plunged.”
Nigeria has emerged as the biggest source of Bitcoin trading volume across Africa as of August 2020, along becoming one of the fastest-growing crypto markets in the world. According to data from Paxful, the country has ranked second only to the United States in trading volume as of December 2020.