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CBN must partner stakeholders to regulate blockchain technology – SiBAN President

The President of the Stakeholders in Blockchain technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN), Senator Ihenyen has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as well as other critical stakeholders in the financial sector in the country to navigate the way forward in regulating the blockchain and cryptocurrency space.

Speaking at the inaugural peer-to-peer conference organised by SiBAN over the weekend at the Civic Event Centre in Lagos, Ihenyen explained that with the unprecedented growth of the blockchain industry in Nigeria, a point of convergence becomes necessary.

“What we represent is a self-regulatory body in Nigeria’s blockchain industry. With the P2P conference, we want to have a platform where innovators as well as policy makers and other stakeholders within and outside the industry can have conversations around blockchain adoption, policy and regulation.

“We will need a re-engagement of stakeholders, lawmakers, and policymakers so that we can have a proper regulatory framework for Blockchain adoption in the country. In this way, we will be able to converge and not have this current divergence. In this way, the CBN will be able to understand that decentralised applications or finance or cryptocurrencies are financial technologies, its fintech. It is not about banning or restricting. It is about understanding the pros and cons and working with all industry stakeholders including banks and law enforcement agencies to ensure that we have transparency in the space,” he said.

Jude Ozinegbe, chairman of the P2P Conference Planning Committee, revealed that the overwhelming turnout by stakeholders in the financial sector especially those who play in the alternative finance segment is a huge indication of the sheer influence SiBAN commands.

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He also thanked organisations that have played onerous parts in the success of the conference through their partnership support and sponsorship.

These organisations he noted include Alpha ltd, ABCC, BEI, thinkcrypto, Blockchain Vibes, Everest, Crypto Hills, Cryptopreacher Blockchain Academy, Sinso Technologies, Market Advance, Near Finance Protocol, Bitget, Empowered CryptoHub, Smart Investors Hub, Super Woman, GIDA, LUPPON, Finsmart, CryptoMart, MoEX Consult, among others.

At the conference, experts cutting across different segments in the alternative finance ecosystem spoke to the theme of the conference “CeFi, DeFi & TradFi: is there a need for Convergence in the Current Divergence?” Olutoyin Oloniteru, founder and chairman, Crypto Economy Institute of Africa (CEIAfrica) commenced as the first keynote, speaking to the topic, “Emergence of CeFi, DeFi & TradFi: Securing the Future in the Current Divergence.”

Giving a global perspective to the theme of the discourse, Lars Seier Christensen, Chairman of Concordium who is a global pioneer in FX and derivative trading and a co-Founder & former Co-CEO of Saxo Bank addressed participants, speaking on the topic, ‘The Emergence of CeFi, DeFi and TradFi: a Concordium Perspective.’

Exploring the theme of the conference more broadly, more speakers also spoke at the panel sessions of the conference. In the first titled ‘Navigating the Opportunities and Risks in CeFi and DeFi, and Exploring Possible Opportunities in TradFi.’

In the engaging session, AbikureTega, Team Lead, Kumon Wallet; Chuta Chimezie, Founder, BNUG & Vice-President, BiCCoN; Eric Anan, Founder/CEO, Global DCA and Rume Ophi, Founder, Cryptopreacher Blockchain Academy were in their elements sharing knowledge on the subject matter. The session was moderated by Chioma Onyekelu, CCI, A&D Forensics.

SiBAN is a Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO), an association of blockchain & crypto industry players founded in 2018.

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