What’s behind the Central Bank of Nigeria’s war on cryptocurrencies?

By ‘Tofe Ayeni

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Posted on December 16, 2021 09:28

A bitcoin user buys bitcoins with naira on Bitcoin Teller Machine in Lagos
A bitcoin user buys bitcoins with naira on Bitcoin Teller Machine in Lagos, Nigeria September 1, 2020 – back when it was legal. REUTERS/Seun Sanni

Just as President Buhari has suspended the Twitter social media platform in Nigeria, central bank governor Emefiele has barred crypto currencies in the country.

Central bank governor Godwin Emefiele and his political chieftain President Muhammadu Buhari see eye to eye on economics and politics – and it seems, the links between the two. They prefer the commandist model of government whether it’s about directing credit to neglected sectors of the economy or managing information.

Presumably he sees Governor Emefiele crypto as importing the anarchy of social media into the financial realm.

The problem for Nigeria’s government is that it’s extremely difficult to use national laws to police essentially global digital phenomena such as social media or cryptocurrencies.

Just as Nigerians use VPN accounts to avoid the twitter suspension, holders of cryptocurrencies are keeping their accounts offshore.

We also know that many senior members of the government have cryptocurrency accounts: that much is clear from the logos on their cellphone screens.


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