In what comes as a major turn shock, the Federal Government of Nigeria has reversed its ban on cryptocurrency. On the 5th of February 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria released a circular stating that it had banned cryptocurrency in the country and that all banks and financial institutions within the country should close all accounts of crypto exchangers and individuals operating in cryptocurrency.
Many people were displeased by the news and in fact, people went to social media to show the displeasure they felt towards the ban.
The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission had before the ban, said it had plans on regulating cryptocurrencies within the country and after the ban, it put out a statement saying this plan would be put on hold.
Specifically, in the statement released on Thursday the 11th of February 2021, it said
for the purpose of admittance into the SEC regulatory incubation framework, the assessment of all persons and products affected by the CBN circular of Feb. 5, 2021, is hereby put on hold until such persons are able to operate bank accounts within the Nigerian banking system.
All hopes seemed to be lost with mediated options of trading cryptocurrency but in less than a week, people had devised a new means of continuing their crypto trading. This solution is known as peer-to-peer and does not involve banks or any financial institutions, therefore, it doesn’t break any thing the ban said.
The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission said that it had to put out a statement on Thursday because several inquiries and comments from members of the public suggested a discord between what the Central Bank and SEC was saying. The statement put out was to clarify SEC Statement on Digital Assets and their Classification and Treatment of September 11, 2020, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Circular of February 5, 2021.
SEC said that there was no such inconsistencies and contradictions between what the Central Bank put out and its decision to regulate cryptocurrency.
Many cryptocurrency trading platforms had put a hold on all its operations in Nigeria. Nigeria currently stands as the second country that has traded cryptocurrency the most after the US.
During the week, the CBN Governor was mandated to a meeting by the senate and asked to prepare to defend his ban explaining the benefits and dangers of cryptocurrency after a period of two weeks.
Nobody expected a reversal of the ban and if anyone did, no one expected it to be this soon. Many people say cryptocurrency cannot be swept under the carpet because of many reasons like the fact that it uses technology, it is predominant amongst the young population, it is a volatile fiat currency, etc.
The reversal of the cryptocurrency ban is indeed one thing to be celebrated, coming at a time when the #EndSars saga has resurfaced.