Despite policymakers and market players recognizing the promise of digital assets, they would rather have a crypto regulatory body to monitor their operations.
This negates everything crypto stands for, yet hostile actors’ actions have exacerbated things. Clem Agba, a Nigerian minister, stated in the latest interview that rather than an outright ban, the country should control the operations of crypto dealers and investors across the nation.
This comment by the Nigerian minister Clem Agba follows the Central Bank of Nigeria’s public pronouncements opposing the possession and trade of digital assets.
The CBN reported in February that trading digital assets were now unlawful and that anyone caught offending would be penalized.
In the aftermath of the ban, the central bank went so far as to order financial institutions to close all accounts that have or are suspected of carrying out crypto transactions.
This latest statement by the Nigerian minister appears to be a rebuke to the CBN’s attitude, as he has suggested that rather than an absolute prohibition, they strive to control its operations.
Agba stated in his statement that instead of forcing crypto-related ventures into the shadows, the central bank should seek ideas to build a solid regulation.
Agba also challenged the Central Bank of Nigeria’s authority over the regulation of digital assets. The Nigerian minister claimed in an interview that there is no regulatory authority embedded in the country’s constitution to go after owners and users of digital assets.
He suggested that the government consider establishing a new regulatory body to oversee crypto-related operations.
There had been a power struggle between the bank and the Securities and Exchange Commission over the organization that would supervise and control merchants and investments in the cryptocurrency space until the premier bank’s edict in February.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a document in September 2020 that stated that digital assets such as Bitcoin should be treated as securities.
Nonetheless, following the CBN’s restriction, the SEC said that it had halted the published records, restoring the Central Bank’s autonomy over digital assets.
The Nigerian minister also stated that before implementing a positive crypto regulatory perspective, the government should first identify all relevant stakeholders.
Despite the fact that holding and exchanging digital assets is illegal, Nigerians have persisted to do so, usually through an underground market source. Nigeria surpassed the United States as the country with the most cryptocurrency users in October.
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