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Nigeria: CBN Governor alleges ‘high-level illegality’ in crypto-firms

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Many countries have been changing their perspective with regards to cryptocurrencies, of late. In that context, India, recently, softened its approach to digital assets. However, Nigeria, having the highest grassroots crypto adoption has raised the fences.

Well, the Central Bank of Nigeria clearly stated that the country was not endorsing cryptocurrencies. In fact, the Governor, Godwin Emefiele called the industry and its operators “embedded in illegality.”

Shortly after the launch of e-Naira, the central bank had begun tightening the noose around the crypto users. The memo issued to commercial banks nearly two weeks ago ordered to flag accounts suspicious of using crypto including foreign exchange dealers.

In fact, the governor has once again established the central bank’s stance against crypto. In a recent interview, Emefiele noted that the country’s banking space had no room for cryptocurrency.

As per reports, the governor noted,

“Like you said, the #EndSARS issue came up in October 2020 and we came up with the issue of saying that we would not make our banking and payment system space available to those who were involved in cryptocurrency business because we feel that a substantial portion of the transactions going on there are illegal.”

Curiously, Emefiele questioned the reason behind the lack of transparency in the space, and he was not the only one. In fact, the central banks around the world have been questioning the need for cryptocurrency. Since they looked at it as a threat to the national economy.

India’s central bank was also partaking in this perspective. Although the Prime Minister of the country noted a forward-looking regulation for the technology, the Reserve Bank of India has maintained its cautionary stance.

Emefiele added to his sentiment,

“Look at it this way: what is there to hide? Why are the transactions so hidden? Why are they encrypted? If I conduct a transaction and a regulator or security authority wants to see the nature of the transaction, those (transactions) can’t be encrypted for people to know what happened. It means that cryptocurrency is a product that is embedded in high level of illegality.”

Although many other African nations were looking to regulate and allow the tech to bridge the financial gaps, the central bank’s denial of the benefits may thwart its citizens’ progress.


Namrata is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto covering the US and Indian market. A graduate in Mass communication, while majoring in Journalism, she writes mainly about regulations and its impact with a focus on technological advancements in the crypto space.
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