As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a circular banning banks from servicing crypto exchanges.
Reacting to the news during the Thursday plenary session, Senator Sani Musa of the Niger East Senatorial District remarked:
“Cryptocurrency has become a worldwide transaction of which you cannot even identify who owns what. The technology is so strong that I don’t see the kind of regulation that we can do. Bitcoin has made our currency almost useless or valueless." - Senator Sani Musa— The Nigerian Senate (@NGRSenate) February 11, 2021
For Senator Musa, Bitcoin (BTC) and not mounting foreign debt, decades of poor economic policies, and corruption are to blame for the naira’s decline. Meanwhile, Bitcoin adoption has been on the rise in the country amid questionable monetary policies adopted by the CBN.
Other senators who made their voices heard during the plenary session argued against the CBN ban. According to Sen. Biodun Olujimi of the Ekiti South Constituency, the goal of crypto regulation in Nigeria should be focused on preventing its use by rogue actors, adding:
“We didn’t create Cryptocurrency and so we cannot kill it and cannot also refuse to ensure it works for us. These children are doing great business with it and they are getting results and Nigeria cannot immune itself from this sort of business.”
The Nigerian Senate has resolved to invite the CBN governor to a hearing before the appropriate committees to discuss issues related to future crypto regulations in the country.
The CBN ban has been met with criticism from several stakeholders in the Nigerian crypto scene. Many exchange platforms have taken steps to disable fiat funding while encouraging their customers to utilize peer-to-peer channels for the time being.
Meanwhile, reports have begun to emanate of bank customers receiving notices of account closures for previous crypto activity. Indeed, the CBN directive did mandate banks to shut down accounts involved in crypto trading.