Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN), a Nigerian organization, warned people that cryptocurrencies and associated activities are still legal within the African country's boundaries. As a result, government and law enforcement authorities should avoid "demonizing and discriminating" against the industry.
In Nigeria, cryptocurrency is not illegal.
Dealing with cryptocurrency is not permitted in all countries. Last year, the Chinese government banned all digital asset operations on Chinese soil, alleging that the regulations were meant to safeguard investors from the highly unpredictable nature of cryptocurrency.
The SiBAN, a Nigerian organization that encourages the acceptance and growth of cryptocurrencies in the country, recently stated that trading with digital assets is completely legal within the country's boundaries. Having stated that, the association asked banks, government agencies, and other institutions to stop putting pressure on local crypto players:
“Under Nigerian law today, it is neither a civil nor a criminal offense to buy, sell, or store cryptocurrency. The use of cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange, an investment asset, or store of value is a legitimate act in Nigeria.”
Furthermore, the SiBAN claims that the global percentage of genuine bitcoin transactions is over 99 percent. The Nigerian digital asset sector, instead of "stigmatization," requires a robust regulatory framework, according to the group. It also mentioned other African countries, such as Mauritius and South Africa, where local watchdogs are attempting to enforce industry rules:
“Nigeria needs advocacy programs, specific education, and constant mass engagement and collaboration to equip the public and the regulators with an understanding of blockchain.”
Despite the fact that they account for fewer than 1% of all cryptocurrency transactions, consumers should be aware that illegal operations employing bitcoin and altcoins do exist. The organization promised to continue educating the general public on the benefits and risks of the field:
“At SiBAN, we will continue to promote anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML-CFT) compliance and other best practices amongst our registered members. We are always ready to collaborate with relevant agencies in this regard.”
Why are Nigerians so interested in cryptocurrencies?
According to a KuCoin research, 35% of Nigerian adults, or roughly 33 million people, have already put some of their money into digital assets. Furthermore, 52% of individuals surveyed have invested at least half of their money in the asset class.
The lack of fundamental financial services in the region, according to KuCoin, is the key reason for the rapid popularity. Despite being one of West Africa's monetary and technological hubs, individuals in large rural areas lack access to fiat-based opportunities.
Another important motivation for Nigerians to diversify their traditional assets into cryptocurrency is to combat the country's rising inflation (currently standing at more than 15 percent ).