Unbanning of cryptocurrency ‘ll boost economic growth – Expert

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Unbanning of cryptocurrency, boost economic growth - ExpertThe Chief Executive Officer of Arvofinance, Mr Ayotunde Bally, says the lifting of the ban on cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria has the potential to boost the economy and offer financial opportunities.

Bally said this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

Arvofinance is a fintech company that provides online loans to consumers without collateral and guarantors.

Bally spoke on the heels of the recent lifting of the ban on cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

BRANDPOWER recalls that the CBN in February 2021, issued a circular restricting banks and other financial institutions from operating accounts for cryptocurrency service providers.

The restriction was due to the Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (ML/TF) risks and vulnerabilities inherent in their operations as well as the absence of regulations and consumer protection measures.

Subsequently, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in May 2023, published regulations for digital assets that signalled Africa’s most populous country was trying to find a middle ground between an outright ban on crypto assets and their unregulated use.

The CBN in December 2023, said in a circular that the current trends globally had shown there was a need to regulate the activities of virtual asset service providers (VASPs), which include cryptocurrencies and crypto assets.

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The latest guidelines spell out how banks and financial institutions should open accounts, provide designated settlement accounts and settlement services and act as channels for forex inflows and trade for firms transacting in crypto assets.

Bally said, “I’m relieved to see the lifting of the cryptocurrency trading ban by CBN.

“This reversal aligns with my belief that embracing such technologies can benefit Nigerians.

“The new policy has the potential to provide economic growth, offering citizens more financial opportunities.”

However, the CEO while acknowledging the importance of responsible and well-regulated implementation, emphasised the importance of establishing robust regulatory frameworks to ensure sustainability and investor trust.

He highlighted the need for public education about safe practices in the crypto space to promote responsible participation.

Bally also said that the crypto space was a promising avenue for creating new jobs for Nigerian youths.

He believed that Nigeria’s tech-savvy young population was well-positioned to take advantage of these opportunities.

“Moreover, the potential job creation for Nigerian youths in the cryptocurrency sector is promising. We have tech- savvy youths that will benefit greatly from the crypto space.

” By fostering a supportive trading environment, we can reduce unemployment and subsequently contribute to a decline in the crime rate,” he said.

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The CEO, therefore, advocated a collaborative approach toward cryptocurrency in Nigeria, where the government acts as a responsible facilitator, ensuring both citizen and national prosperity.

“It’s crucial for the government to actively engage with industry stakeholders, promote financial literacy, and implement precautionary measures to safeguard investors and maintain a thriving crypto market.

“It’s a win for the citizens and the government,” he said.