The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has defended the apex bankâ€™s decision to exclude cryptocurrency transactions from the banking ecosystem. In his testimony before the Nigerian Senate, Emefiele claimed that the February 5 directive is â€œin the best interests of Nigerians.â€
Crypto Not Money
Immediately following the announcement of the CBN prohibition, Nigeriaâ€™s regulated financial institutions began to sever ties with crypto traders and exchanges. However, following an outcry over the move, some supportive members of the Nigerian Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance, and Other Financial Institutions requested Emefiele to brief the legislative body on the rationale behind the CBN prohibition.
In justifying the move, the CBN governor told the Nigerian legislators that â€œcryptocurrency is not legitimate moneyâ€ since it is not issued by any central bank. Using this argument, Emefiele then added:
As expected, the CBN governor also used his appearance before the legislative body to regurgitate the usual claims against cryptocurrencies. Further, in his bid to bolster the case against cryptocurrencies, a report reveals that Emefiele went on to share â€œinstances of investigated criminal activities that had been linked to cryptocurrencies.â€ However, the report does not provide details on some of the â€œinvestigated cases.â€
No Contradictions Between CBN and the SEC
However, notwithstanding the CBNâ€™s hardline stance on cryptocurrencies, Emefiele still claims that the central bankâ€™s â€œactions were not in any way, shape or form inimical to the development of Fintech or a technology-driven payment system.â€ The CBN chief also reiterated that the central bank will do â€œall within its regulatory powers to educate Nigerians on emerging financial risks.â€
Meanwhile, in remarks made during the same meeting, Lamido Yuguda, the Director-General of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied there had been policy contradictions between the two regulators. The report quotes Yuguda confirming that the SEC had â€œput on hold the admittance of all persons affected by CBN circular into its proposed regulatory incubatory framework.â€
Do you agree with CBNâ€™s claims that the exclusion of cryptocurrency transactions protects the banking ecosystem? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
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