Osinbajo disagrees with CBN on crypto ban

Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President of Nigeria has on Friday disagreed with the prohibition of the cryptocurrency market by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to the VP, the market requires robust regulation and not prohibition.

“Cryptocurrencies in the coming years will challenge traditional banking, including reserve banking, in ways that we cannot yet imagine, so we need to be prepared for that seismic shift,” the VP in a video posted on his official Twitter handle.

Osinbajo’s position is in clear contrast with the one held by Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the CBN.

During a Joint Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, ICT and Cybercrime; and Capital Market on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, Emefiele had said the issuance of cryptocurrencies by unregulated and unlicensed entities is contrary to the mandate of the CBN.

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“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,” Emefiele said.

But the VP speaking at the Bankers Committee Conference organised by Vanguard Newspaper suggested the CBN governor may be acting in fear.

“Cryptocurrency should be innovatively regulated, not prohibited; we must act with knowledge not fear,” he said.

The VP further said it is in the place of both the monetary authorities and SEC to provide a robust regulatory regime that addresses these serious concerns without killing the goose that might lay the golden eggs.

“And it makes sense since total ban is impossible,” Osinbajo said.

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