By Tolulope Oke
The President of Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN), Senator Ihenyen, reveals Nigeria can realise up to $10 billion from adopting the blockchain (cryptocurrency) movement.
Speaking at the second yearly Blockchain Associations Forum’s (BAF) Member Summit held virtually which was attended by 53 countries, Ihenyen encouraged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reconsider its anti-crypto policy prohibiting commercial banks and other financial institutions from processing connected transactions.
In light of this, he urged that the National Blockchain Adoption Strategy be reviewed to make sure that the CBN and all other stakeholders specified in the framework are on the same page.
He noted that the nation has a National Blockchain Adoption Strategy, championed by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and supported by the Federal Ministry of Communications and the Digital Economy, The Guardian reported.
“Nigeria is targeting to realise up to $10 billion from the Blockchain technology by 2030. SiBAN is recognised as a stakeholder in the National Blockchain Adoption Strategy,” he said.
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Moreso, he noted that the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) now acknowledges cryptocurrency assets as a financial innovation that requires regulation to maintain accountability and transparency.
Ihenyen stated that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) now recognizes crypto asset players under its new regulations on digital assets, which include Digital Asset Offering Platforms (DAOPs), Digital Asset Custodians (DACs), Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs), and Digital Assets Exchange. Ihenyen also mentioned that the Nigerian digital asset market has improved (DAX).
A new Money Laundering Act 2022 has also been passed in Nigeria with the goal of, among other things, bringing virtual assets under the jurisdiction of its Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework and complying with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards on AML for crypto assets.
Although Nigeria has a National Blockchain Adoption Strategy, he pointed out that there is a clear lack of cooperation among stakeholders, particularly regulators like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the SEC, and other important regulators, which has had a negative impact on innovation development, policy formulation, and regulation in Nigeria’s developing crypto assets industry.