A little over a year after its inception in October 2021, Nigeria’s eNaira has only been adopted by 0.5% of its population.
A law recognizing the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to stay up with “global standards” will reportedly soon be passed by the Nigerian government.
Following an interview with the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets chairman, Babangida Ibrahim, Punch Newspapers, a Nigerian publication, broke the news on December 18.
According to the report, the local Securities and Exchange Commission could “recognize bitcoin and other digital monies as capital for investment” if the Investments and Securities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill were to become law.
Ibrahim emphasized the significance of Nigeria staying current with capital market trends and developments:
“We need an effective and robust capital market in Nigeria, ” I stated during the second reading. To accomplish that, we must be up to speed with international standards.
Central Bank of Nigeria :
The allegation comes nearly 24 months after Nigeria outlawed cryptocurrency trading in February 2021. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ordered local cryptocurrency exchanges and service providers to halt operations and ordered banks to shut the accounts of anyone found trading cryptocurrency.
Ibrahim, who presided over Nigeria from 1985 to 1993, is adamant that the law’s passage does not represent a reversal of the ban but rather a secondary examination of the CBN’s authority:
“We are examining the legality: what is legal and what is within the parameters of our operations in Nigeria,” the statement reads. “It is not about [the] lifting of the prohibition.”
The CBN found that most of these investors didn’t even have local accounts when bitcoin was first outlawed in Nigeria. Therefore, they fall outside of the CBN’s purview. He said there is no way for the CBN to check them because they aren’t using local accounts.
Nigeria’s 2007 Investments and Securities Act will be modified if the legislation is approved.
The bill will specify the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) (Nigeria) regulatory functions on topics connected to digital currencies in addition to giving legal recognition to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to the article.
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 have also been fruitless.
From January to August last year, Nigerians were only behind the United States in Bitcoin trade volume. At that time, they were more likely to google “Bitcoin” than people from any other nation.
An April research report by CoinGecko revealed that Nigerian citizens were the most interested in cryptocurrencies. The intrigue is not surprising, given that Nigerians are still battling extreme inflation and a depressed economy.
In September, Nigeria began preliminary negotiations with cryptocurrency exchange Binance to create a crypto-friendly economic zone to assist local blockchain and cryptocurrency firms.