Godwin Emefiele (Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria) claims that most cryptocurrency transactions have been made in violation of law. He claims that cryptocurrency is not allowed in Nigeria’s banking system.
The Endsars Pushback Protest Claim
In his latest anti-cryptocurrency salvo that was published by the Punch, Emefiele however appeared to push back against the claims the CBN had abruptly decided to exclude cryptocurrency entities from the banking system as punishment for the industry’s perceived support of the Endsars protests.
After the CBN had frozen bank accounts belonging to individuals involved in organizing Endsars protests, protest leaders asked for donations using bitcoin. Bitcoin.com News reported that organizers were able to keep funding their protest activities after switching to bitcoin donations.
Accordingly, observers in Nigeria speculated that when the CBN announced suddenly the withdrawal of cryptocurrency entities, it was due to the failure of the central bank to block the flow funds to Endsars protest organizers.
Emefiele, however, responds to the claims and explains why CBN generally opposes cryptocurrency transactions in the report.
“Like you said, the Endsars issue came up in October 2020 and we came up with the issue of saying that we would not make our banking and payment system space available to those who were involved in cryptocurrency business because we feel that a substantial portion of the transactions going on there are illegal,” he explained.
Emefiele suggested then that, like most of its counterparts, the CBN does not accept cryptocurrency transactions due to their encryption and inaccessibility by central banks. He added:
It’s easy to see the problem: What are you trying to conceal? What is the secret behind transactions? What is the purpose of encryption? If I conduct a transaction and a regulator or security authority wants to see the nature of the transaction, those (transactions) can’t be encrypted for people to know what happened. This means cryptocurrency can be embedded with high levels of illegality.
In fact, according to Emefiele, donations to the Endsars movement had nothing to do with the CBN’s February 5, 2021 directive. Emefiele stated that this directive was consistent with many other central banks’ stances around the globe.
Do you agree with Emefiele’s remarks about cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think below in the comments.
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