The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Gowin Emefiele has denied that the apex bank place new restrictions on the use of cryptocurrency noting that the recent directive was to protect the financial system and generality of Nigeria from the risk inherent in crypto-asset transactions.
CBN in a directive to financial institutions barred banks and other financial institutions in the country from facilitating cryptocurrency. The bank regulator had on February 5, 2021, sent a letter to all local financial institutions to shut down all bank accounts associated with cryptocurrency trading platforms.
This directive generated uproar some quarters and economic analysts who commended the commitment towards building a digital economy.
The CBN Governor in a keynote address at the 30th Seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editor over the weekend explained that the directive was not new but only amplified an earlier regulation on the subject of cryptocurrency.
“The recent directive became necessary to protect the financial system and the generality of Nigerian from the risk inherent in crypto-asset transactions, which have escalated in recent time, with consequences on financial stability and implementation of monetary policy.”
He however added, ” our policy does not preclude Nigerian from harnessing the underlying technology that supports crypto transactions, which is distributed ledger, commonly referred to as a blockchain.”
Emefiele disclosed further that there are several examples where blockchain technology has been used to facilitate and improve transparency in the settlement of trade transactions.