The narrative held by the Nigerian government about cryptocurrencies and what they stand for, might be set to change. Reports from the country’s local media assert that Nigeria’s regulators are currently considering a legislative framework for digital currency usage.
In an interactive session and workshop organised by the country’s judiciary, Nigeria’s Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, revealed that there are bills relating to digital currency currently in consideration in Nigeria’s National Assembly.
“There are several other acts to regulate the emerging digital financial sub sector of the economy.” Abubakar Malami disclosed. “The expected bills will prepare Nigeria for emerging realities relating to digital cash, bitcoin and e-currency.” he said.
Nigeria: A hotspot for Cryptocurrency in Africa
Nigeria is one of the African countries which is currently witnessing a rise in the demands of cryptocurrency. The frequent fall of the Nigerian Naira has prompted many people in the country to seek protection by hedging their money against the fall.
Remittances and speculative investment constitute another factor contributing to the popularity of cryptocurrency in the country. With Nigerians restricted from using services such as PayPal and considering the delay coupled with high fees charged by cross-border payment gateways, many have resorted to cryptocurrency for cross-border transactions.
In January 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria, in a new circular, restricted domestic banks and financial institutions in the country from participating or allowing crypto related transactions. But the recent development in the US could rob off on the country’s stance on digital currencies.
It is speculated in the country’s crypto community, with the US regulators approval for banks to provide custody for cryptocurrency and related services, that Nigeria’s legislative arm is likely to follow suit in making similar decisions.
However, with the proposed regulatory framework currently in consideration, it remains to be seen if cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, will be fully embraced or face strict restrictions on how it can be used.
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