24 February 2021 by James Itodo….
The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) says its directive to banks to discontinue transactions on crypto currency was to protect Nigerians involved in transparent bank transactions.
CBN’s Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele stated this at an interactive session with members of the Senate Joint Committees on Banking, Capital Market and ICT.
Emefiele in his presentation said:
“Let me state that this decision is in the best interest of every well meaning Nigerian, who has noting to hide and is happy to have traceble and transparent dealings in our financial system.
He said cryptocurrency was a currency issued by largely unknown, unregulated elements using computers that are basically encrypted .
He explained that transactions on crypto currency were designed to hide information about the transactions and the operators.
“Cryptocurrency is used to describe the activities of traders in an electronic dark world where transactions are extremely opaque, not visible and not transparent.
“These are people who deal in transactions that do not want to be trailed.
“The definitions of crypto currency was scary enough to cause anxiety for any regulator or Central Banker in any part of the world and that is the reason, virtually all regulators in the world did not recognise it.”
He said the CBN had been studying the development and paying close attention to currencies in that space, since many Nigerians delved into its usage .
He said the CBN knows that a continuation of the transaction significantly threatens the safety and soundness of the nation’s collection system .
He said CBN has a major and primary responsibility as a primary regulator to protect activities of actors, bank stakeholders and uninformed actors in the financial system from other actors who may wish to take advantage of their lack or limited knowledge to rip off the uninformed.
According to him, crypto currency has been used to facilitate scam,money laundering, and payment of ramson for kidnapping, finance for terror in different parts of the world.
“Our business is to protect,to inform and ensure that those who seek protection in a regulated environment receive the protection,”he said.
He said a significant number of Central Banks around the world have taken the same position like CBN.
He therefore appealed to Nigerians to be patient with understanding as the CBN was monitoring the space .
Earlier, Chairman of the Joint Committee,Sen .Uba Sani, (APC Kaduna),who is also Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking said the interactive session was a fact finding mission by the joint commitee on the position of CBN on crypto currency ban.
He said the senate would support any legitimate drive of Nigerians and decision designed to promote the economy.