Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that he fully agreed with the positions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other anti-corruption agencies on the dangers of trading in cryptocurrencies adding however that the right thing to do as to regulate their operations.
Professor Osinbajo, who spoke today, February 27 at a one-day special summit on the economy by bank chief executive officers with theme: “CBN/ Bankers’ Committee’s Initiative for Economic Growth,” suggested that the positions of these regulatory bodies should be the subject of further reflection.
“There is a role for regulation here. And it is in the place of our monetary authorities and SEC to provide robust regulatory rules that address these serious concerns without killing the goose that lay the golden eggs”
He said that some of the exciting and very well articulated developments received from regulatory authorities call for prudence and care in adopting them.
“These are very well articulated by the regulatory authorities. But we must ensure that we are in a position to prevent any of the adverse side effect like criminal act that may arise in the course of adopting any any of these options,” he advised.
Osinbajo said that blockchain technology, digital assets and cryptocurrencies remain very topical issues in global finance.
“First is that there is no question that blockchain technology generally, and cryptocurrencies in particular, will become a challenge for traditional banking in ways that you cannot get to imagine. So, we need to be prepared for that sensitive shift. And sooner or later, remittances can have a challenge too because blockchain technology will provide far cheaper functions to the kind of fees being paid today for cross border transfers to banks,” he said.
The Vice President said that traditional switch system is equally facing challenges because there are a whole lot of digital assets formed daily, from Blockchain technology.
“Clearly, the future of money and finance, especially for traditional banking must be exciting as it is frightening. We see in many other sectors, disruptions make for efficiency and profit.”
The CBN had two weeks ago, banned banks and other financial institutions from trading on cryptocurrencies or providing banking services to companies involved in the business.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said that decision to prohibit deposit money banks, non-banking institutions and Other Financial Institutions from facilitating trading and dealings in cryptocurrency was in the best interest of Nigerian depositors and the country’s financial system.
This is even as the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye said that virtual assets and cryptocurrency can be used for terrorism financing and kidnapping.
He said cryptocurrency and other virtual means are risky for Nigeria which is grappling with security challenges.
Likewise, Director/CEO, NFIU, Tukur Moddido, kicked strongly against Cryptocurrencies, pointing out that it failed the critical tests of vulnerability and risks.
According to Modibbo, the NFIU through its Cyber Intelligence stopped a scam of roughly $3 million recently.