Moghalu frowns at cryptocurrency ban, reveals $500m worth of Bitcoin traded in last five years
Former presidential candidate, Kingsley Moghalu, has stated that around $500 million worth of Bitcoin was traded in Nigeria within the last five years.
Moghalu once worked as the Head of Directorate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) a unit which he says is in charge of the financial systems.
He disclosed these figures on Sunday, February 8, while reacting to the recent CBN policy which directed all banks to close accounts that transact in cryptocurrency.
Regardless of the risks involved in trading in cryptocurrencies, an outright ban ought not to be decreed, Moghalu posited.
“A lot of the activities in the world are going digital and I would not recommend banning it (cryptocurrencies) outright,” Moghalu said in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
“$500 million worth of Bitcoin has been traded in Nigeria within the last five years and Nigeria is one of the top 10 countries in the use of cryptocurrencies in the world today”.
He further explained that it was becoming a real factor in the country’s investment ecosystem, as well as a livelihood for many Nigerians.
Ripples Nigeria had reported on Friday that the apex bank ordered all banks to close accounts of anyone who transacts in cryptocurrency.
The order was contained in a circular to banks and other financial institutions, signed by the Director of Banking Supervision, Bello Hassan, and was expected to take effect immediately.
According to the CBN, dealing in cryptocurrency or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.
However, Moghalu noted that the move is seen as though the government is always taking actions aimed at taking away opportunities from Nigerians especially in a depressed economy.
According to the former presidential candidate, regular currencies depreciate in value as against cryptocurrencies such as the BTC but many Policies from the bank in the past few years have not been favourable.
“The Nigerian Government should try to make the investment climate far more friendly and efficient than it is now.
“It is unfriendly, that’s why the foreign investment is declining,” he said.