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Demonising crypto will affect investment, jobs in Nigeria, says ICT 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

Abiodun Adeoye, a Lagos-based information and communications technology (ICT) expert, says demonising cryptocurrency will affect investment in Nigeria.

Adeoye made this known in a statement on Monday addressing the issues surrounding Binance’s operation in Nigeria and the crackdown on cryptocurrency firms.

Binance is facing an allegation of aiding illicit foreign exchange (FX) transactions.

Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager for Africa, Tigran Gambaryan, its head of financial crime compliance, and the company were charged with tax evasion and money laundering by the federal government.

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The duo were arrested and detained on February 28.

However, Anjarwalla escaped custody in March.

Adeoye said it is time for Nigeria to address its economic challenges wisely instead of blaming a globally accepted business transactional method.

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He said countries are increasingly adopting digital currencies and blockchain technology to promote financial inclusion and economic growth.

Adeoye said it is unfortunate Nigeria is having a problem with Binance at a time the country is becoming a hotbed for cryptocurrency activity, with a burgeoning industry of firms and enthusiasts driving innovation and economic growth.

“Nigeria is reportedly stepping up its cryptocurrency crackdown with a proposed ban on peer-to-peer (P2P) trading. The ban would affect P2P trading in the country’s naira,” Adeoye said.

“The Nigerian government’s strong views towards cryptocurrency firms is no secret. From regulatory restrictions to outright bans, authorities have clarified their stance, citing concerns over financial stability and illicit activities.

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“Yet, amidst these actions, little consideration has been given to the consequences for the burgeoning crypto ecosystem and the broader economy.

“It is worth noting that while cryptocurrency may pose challenges, it also presents opportunities.

“Across the globe, countries are embracing digital currencies and blockchain technology as tools for financial inclusion and economic development.

“By demonising crypto, Nigeria risks falling behind in the race for innovation and investment.”

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UNCERTAINTY IN CRYPTO MARKET WILL AFFECT JOBS

Adeola said that with crypto firms experiencing increasing pressure and uncertainty, the consequences could be job losses, stifled innovation, and capital flight.

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The ICT expert said the blame game against platforms like Binance serves little purpose in addressing the underlying issues at hand.

Adeoye said rather than blaming, stakeholders should collaborate to devise a strategy that balances regulatory concerns with the need for innovation and expansion.

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He said Nigeria can fully harness the potential of cryptocurrency only by fostering collaboration and dialogue, thus securing a prosperous future for everyone.

On May 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced plans to delist naira from all peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms.

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P2P platforms allow two parties to connect directly to engage in financial transactions without the involvement of traditional financial institutions.

The commission said the decision was taken to avoid the level of “manipulation” happening in the cryptocurrency space.

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