On the 5th of February, 2021, a letter sent by the Central Bank of Nigeria to all financial institutions in the country sparked a reaction across all social media platforms. This was due to the apex bank’s decision to place a ban on the use of cryptocurrency in the country. The directive also asked that banks close all accounts that continue to use their accounts for cryptocurrency-related transactions.
A lot of the conversations that ensued tilted towards the ways that this policy would shape businesses and the lives of Nigerians going forward. In an exclusive interview with Adekunle Daniel, a Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Consultant who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Blockstale BTM, he speaks to us about the long-term effect of the CBN’s ban on cryptocurrency in Nigeria.
Ventures Africa (VA): Kindly share with us a bit about yourself and what you do
Adekunle Daniel (AD): My name is Adekunle Daniel, I am into the development of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology software and hardwareʼs that solves real-time global financial problems.
VA: You own Blockstale BTM. What specifically does the company do?
AD: At Blockstale, we bring cryptocurrencies and digital assets closer to the people in a well structured, secure, and seamless way without expositing our clients to market volatility.
VA: For our audience who know little or nothing at all about cryptocurrency, quickly share a thing or two you think is important to know.
AD: Cryptocurrency is a global financial instrument that would revolutionize our banking system since the banks arenʼt built for this internet age.
VA: Now that our audience understands a bit about cryptocurrency, talk to us a bit about the recent CBN ban on cryptocurrency in Nigeria.
AD: About the recent BAN, I want everyone to know that the central bank of Nigeria only banned the bodies that they regulate not every crypto user because the CBN has no jurisdiction on the prohibition of cryptocurrencies.
VA: What are the short and long-term effects of the ban on Nigerians and businesses?
AD: The effects of this ban on businesses and the nation is that a lot of businesses that have a high potential of accepting crypto as an alternative to local currency would be affected. Nigeria is speculated to take over the crypto hub spot 5 years from now, but with this BAN it would be almost impossible.
VA: Do you think the restriction will affect the Nigerian economy in the long run?
AD: This restriction would have an impact on our economy because most entrepreneurs would be resentful of developing any great software even when there is a need for one.
VA: What advice do you have for Nigerians who had invested in cryptocurrency before the ban?
AD: For Nigerians that have invested in crypto before now, kindly hold on to your investment and make more investment plans because if we think cryptocurrency will go away, it is like we thinking the internet or electricity will go away.
The world is gradually moving towards digital currencies, and like with economic trends, countries should move along with it. Placing a ban on cryptocurrency at this point will affect Nigeria’s economy in more ways than one, and the government should find a way to regulate it rather than a total shutdown.