Nigeria legalizes Bitcoin and cryptos

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Nigeria legalizes Bitcoin and cryptos

Babangida Ibrahim, who serves as the head of the Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions in the House of Representatives, recently made the announcement that the body would soon pass a measure that will make Bitcoin and other digital currencies legal in Nigeria.

According to a report from a Nigerian news outlet, the Securities and Exchange Commission () would be able to acknowledge bitcoin and other digital assets as investment capital once the Investments and Securities Act, 2007 (Amendment) Bill is passed into law. The bill would amend the Investments and Securities Act of 2007.

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It was said by Ibrahim. “As I said before when we were going through the second reading, we absolutely need an effective and active capital market in Nigeria. In order for us to be able to achieve that, we need to be knowledgeable about the most recent worldwide practices. There have been a lot of developments within the capital market in recent times, particularly with the advent of digital currencies, commodities exchanges, and so many other things that are crucial, that need to be included in the new Act.”

The announcement comes close to two years after crypto trading was made illegal in Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which ordered local crypto exchanges and service providers to cease operations and ordered banks to close the accounts of anyone found trading crypto. The news comes nearly two years after the CBN made these orders.

Additionally, the regulatory roles of the CBN and the SEC in connection to digital currency will be outlined in the proposed law. Ibrahim has previously provided reports on proposals aimed at restructuring the capital market.

“It is not about removing the prohibition; rather, we are looking at the legality; specifically, what is lawful and what is within the boundaries of our activities in Nigeria.” While the Securities and Exchange Commission is responsible for regulating the stock market, the Central Bank of Nigeria is in charge of regulating financial markets.

As of October 2022, the adoption rate for the eNaira, the digital currency that is being issued by the central bank of Nigeria, is only at 0.5%. Nigerians have shown just a moderate amount of interest in the eNaira.

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