The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been urged to reassess its current anti-crypto directive prohibiting commercial banks and other financial institutions from processing related transactions.
It is also urged to focus on an effective and efficient transaction monitoring and reporting system rather than outright bans.
The position was advanced at the second annual Blockchain Associations Forum (BAF) member summit held virtually, which had more than 53 countries in attendance.
The summit was held to discuss crypto asset policies, national digital asset strategies, and the future of the global economy.
Stakeholders from the Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN), a founding member of BAF, represented Nigeria. SiBAN Chairman, Senator Ihenyen, said the CBN’s directive preventing financial institutions from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions hampers law enforcement’s work in investigating and prosecuting crypto-related crimes. crypto in the country, since the Nigerian regulators, especially the CBN, are yet to provide or implement a regulatory framework on crypto-assets or cryptocurrencies.
He said regulators and government need to improve multi-stakeholder engagements, particularly in the crypto-asset sector, to ensure the appropriate development of policies and regulations in the crypto-asset sector, as well as to help encourage compliance and cooperation, while building trust between operators and regulators.
He called for the revision of the national blockchain adoption strategy to ensure that all stakeholders identified in the framework, including CBN, are on one page.
He added that a review would promote consistency, certainty in the policy and regulation of crypto assets, and the support and development of innovation.
Recounting the improvements in the digital asset industry in Nigeria, Ihenyen noted that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) now recognizes crypto asset players under its new digital asset regulations, which include crypto offering platforms. assets (DAOP), digital asset custodians (DAC), virtual asset service providers (VASP) and digital asset exchange (DAX).
He also noted that the country has a National Blockchain Adoption Strategy, championed by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and supported by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Economy. digital.
“Nigeria aims to realize up to $10 billion from Blockchain technology by 2030. SiBAN is recognized as a stakeholder in the national blockchain adoption strategy,” he said.
According to him, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) now recognizes crypto assets as a financial innovation that needs to be regulated to ensure accountability and transparency. Nigeria has also enacted a new Money Laundering Act 2022 to, among other things, bring virtual assets into its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework so that they comply with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards on AML. for crypto-assets.
He however noted that although Nigeria has a national blockchain adoption strategy, there is a clear lack of collaboration among stakeholders, especially among regulators, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the SEC and other key regulators, which have had a negative impact on innovation development, policy formulation and regulation in the emerging crypto asset industry in Nigeria.