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Cash remains common method for illegal activities, not crypto, says fintech expert

Cash remains common method for illegal activities, not crypto, says fintech expert Cash remains common method for illegal activities, not crypto, says fintech expert

Wale Fakorede, a financial technology (fintech) expert, says cash remains the common method for illegal activities, not cryptocurrencies.

In a statement on Friday, Fakorede said the reputation of financial technology in Nigeria has been severely damaged and the consequences are telling on the overall economy.

Questioning why the government has not changed its perception, he said cash remains the most common method for illegal activities in Nigeria, despite recent claims linking cryptocurrencies to illicit activities like terrorism funding.

Fakorede said strengthening regulatory measures across all financial systems is crucial to preventing misuse, instead of “singling out cryptocurrencies as a disproportionate threat”.

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The fintech expert advised the government to utilise its first anniversary in office as an opportunity to address the critical issues of government transparency and economic integrity.

“Upholding transparency, accountability, and integrity as non-negotiable principles of governance is essential to rebuild trust, attract investment, and pave the way for a brighter business future for all Nigerians,” Fakorede said.

He said by directly addressing these challenges, “the new government has the opportunity to set Nigeria on a path towards sustainable growth and prosperity”.

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On February 5, 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a circular to deposit money banks (DMBs), non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs), and other financial institutions (OFIs) to close accounts of persons or entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions within their systems.

CBN further warned financial institutions against dealing in crypto assets or facilitating payments for crypto exchanges.

The apex bank cited concerns over money laundering (ML), terrorism financing (TF), cybercrime, and the volatility of cryptocurrencies as reasons for the ban.

However, on December 22, 2023, the CBN directed all banks and OFIs to carry out cryptocurrency services.

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The bank said commercial banks must fully comply with the provisions of the guidelines on virtual assets service providers (VASPs).

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