A cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange that is digital, encrypted, and decentralized. It is a virtual currency secured by cryptography which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double spend.
With its growing popularity, it can be used to buy goods and services even producing an online ledger to secure transactions. Perhaps one of the most appealing features of cryptocurrencies is that they use decentralized control which means that they are not controlled by one person or a government.
A development unfolded on February 5th, 2021, when the Central Bank of Nigeria released a letter addressed to banks and other financial institutions stating that dealing in cryptocurrencies and facilitating payment for cryptocurrency exchanges are now prohibited.
To exacerbate matters, the CBN further instructed all banks and financial institutions to identify individuals or entities who transact in cryptocurrencies or operate cryptocurrency exchanges and close the accounts of such entities.
This directive has elicited various concerns among the public with many worried about the potential negative effect it could have on Nigeria’s growing cryptocurrency market and innovation in the fintech industry.
In my recent chat with Adedeji Ow0nibi, a Blockchain Advocate and Crypto Forensic Expert, on Tech Trends, he shared with us the way forward in this controversial situation.
CFA: Adedeji, welcome to the Tech Trends show.
Adedeji: Thanks so much for having me today.
CFA: Awesome! So, tell me, what’s your take on cryptocurrency?
Adedeji: A lot of people have takes on what cryptocurrency is, but I see it as a natural next step for money. Now, if you go down memory lane, there was a time we used cowries. Just yesterday, I was discussing with some people about how stones were actually used as currencies on an island called the Yap Islands. I googled it and I showed them.
So, people choose what they think currency should be from time immemorial. You know, before we moved to coin, we were using cowry and we used other things at some point. It’s just normal metamorphosis. Cryptocurrency is transforming to become the new money and of course, normally before you can take a shift, there’s a lot of controversies.
That’s what’s happening. For me, it’s generally the next step for money and if you ask me how it came about, what it’s all about for a layman to understand? Here’s a little background information.
There was this group of people called cyberpunks, some few years back, around 2008/2009, they started researching because they didn’t believe in the financial system of that time. They were of the opinion that the government was manipulating the system.
They also thought that the governments only allow people they loved to have access to it. Hence, they thought of what to do to democratize money.
You can watch the full interview here.