Why FG needs to rescind cryptocurrency ban | Dailytrust

Why FG needs to rescind cryptocurrency ban

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele
CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele

Stakeholders have urged the federal government to reconsider the ban placed on transactions on cryptocurrency and to create regulatory frameworks to control the sector.

During a Blockchain/Cryptocurrency Policy Conference organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), yesterday in Abuja, they said regulations would help to protect as well as enable the government to generate revenue.

Recall that the Central Bank of (CBN) has banned transactions of cryptocurrency by banks and placed pecuniary sanctions, a decision it said was due to lack of proper regulation and prone to financial crimes.

The President of the Association of Capital Market Academics in Nigeria, Prof. Uche Uwalaka, said with Nigeria a top destination for cryptocurrency, a progressive approach needs to be taken by the CBN to create structures and revive the sector.

While noting that the currency is suffering from identity crises, Uwalaka said crypto should not be considered a threat to the naira but a form of investment with its operations domiciled with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).

“Cryptocurrency should be viewed as a form of investment but not monetary. The ban does not mean dealing with it is illegal but it is for the bank to engage in it. But with that, the government and other institutions are losing revenue that can be taxed from transactions. Thus, to regulate it and bring it to the mainstream, a taskforce should be on board comprising of SEC, CBN and FCCPC to protect Nigerians from fraudsters.”

He, however, said over-regulation could also suffocate the sector, thus, the government should be moderate in its control of it.

A representative from Union Bank, Sola Soladoye, said with the ban, the banking sector is losing some of the benefits it offers and linked its transactions to Forex trade.

He, however, said the ban is necessary to create awareness of what cryptocurrency is and not for investors not to be victims of fraudulent schemes.

On his part, the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, said the sector has the potential to make the service easily meet up with its revenue target.

He noted that without a legislative backup, it can’t move into the sector but is hopeful that the annual review of the Finance Act could help to rectify that.

In his remarks, the Executive Director of the National Chamber Policy Centre, ACCI, Olawale Rasheed, said the perceived evil in the sector should not deprive Nigeria of gaining the economic benefits associated with it.

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