There are indications that the Nigerian government may be looking to legitimise cryptocurrency transactions in the country soon.
Babangida Ibrahim, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions, revealed this while speaking to Nairametrics over the weekend.
More details: He explained that once the Investments and Securities Act, 2007 (Amendment) Bill is passed into law, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would be able to recognise Bitcoin and other digital assets as capital for investment.
The proposed bill will also outline SEC’s and CBN’s regulatory responsibilities for digital currency.
- In addition to recognizing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies legally, the measure will outline the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) and Securities Exchange Commission’s (SEC) (Nigeria) regulatory responsibilities on matters related to digital currencies.
- The eNaira, the digital currency issued by Nigeria’s central bank, has received little to no attention from Nigerians and only has a 0.5% adoption rate as of October, 12 months after its inception.
- As usage grew after the ban in February 2021, the Nigerian government’s earlier efforts to suppress cryptocurrency activities may.
Keeping with the times: Ibrahim further explained that part of the amendments is a bill for an act to repeal the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers Act, Cap. C9, 2004, providing for the establishment of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments.
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He argued that Nigeria must keep up with international economic developments and that one of the ways to do this is through the development of a dynamic capital market. He said:
- “We need an effective and dynamic capital market in Nigeria. To do it, we must be knowledgeable about current international standards. The capital market has undergone a lot of changes recently, particularly with the emergence of digital currencies, commodities exchanges, and numerous other key developments that must be reflected in the new Act. As I previously stated, it is preferable to discuss this after taking the reports into account.
- “They are electronic. That is why, as you recall, the CBN found that the majority of these investors don’t even utilize local accounts when crypto assets were first prohibited in Nigeria. CBN does not have jurisdiction over them. Because they do not use local accounts, the CBN cannot check them.
- “When Bitcoin was first outlawed in Nigeria, the majority of these investors did not have local accounts.
- “As a result, they are not under the CBN’s jurisdiction. He said that because they aren’t using local accounts, the CBN has no means to check them.”
Nigeria’s crypto adoption: Nigeria is ranked as the second-best-performing country in the world in terms of interest in Bitcoin. In the same vein, the country is also the largest source of BTC trading in Africa.
According to data from Google Trends, Nigeria has the second-highest amount of Bitcoin behind Salvador. The African country also has the most Blockchain searches on the search engine.
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Nigerians are said to be the most crypto-savvy population on the African continent, ranking as the top country for crypto adoption in Africa and 11th overall. 35% of the country’s population aged between ages 18 and 60, was reported to have owned or traded cryptocurrencies in 2022.
On Chainalysis’s list of nations for the “Global Crypto Adoption Index,” Nigeria is currently rated eleventh. The present bear market has been going on for a long, yet the public has decided to stick with cryptocurrencies.