Another Policy Flipflop. By Kelechi Deca

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This was the map of Crypto activities in Africa until this morning when Nigeria, decided to join the dinosaurs of 3rd Centruy AD.
Between the CBN and SEC who should we pay attention to?
Four months ago, SEC in a statement noted that “Virtual crypto assets are securities; unless proven otherwise. The burden of proving that the crypto assets proposed to be offered are not securities and therefore not under the jurisdiction of the SEC is placed on the issuer or sponsor of the said assets.”
SEC added that “issuers or sponsors of virtual digital assets shall be guided by the SEC’s regulation. The general objective of regulation is not to hinder technology or stifle innovation, but to create standards that encourage ethical practices.”
Nigerianly, the Central Bank just before Christmas ordered switches and processors to stop all domestic currency transfers in respect of foreign remittances through International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs).
Interestingly, statistics that emerged before Christmas showed that Nigeria was the No. 2 bitcoin peer-to-peer market after the United States with more than $566 million worth of bitcoin traded between 2015 and 2020.
Not used to being on the global klieg light for positive reasons, Nigeria must do something about such commendable position, imagine being second to the United States?
So before I could take my second cup of Coffee for the day, the CBN in a circular effectively blocked the ability of the exchanges that trade virtual currencies to collect payments from bank customers.
Interestingly, from the wordings of their statement, nobody will accuse the CBN of declaring crypto illegal. But what they did is crippling the ability to trade Crypto through an exchange in Nigeria.
The apex bank has just made it impossible for people to be able to use a card from a Nigerian bank or any other financial institution in Nigeria to process any transactions on a crypto exchange.
What that means in English Language is that since crypto is hardly bought with cash from exchanges, operation of companies like BuyCoins, Patricia, Yellow Card Binance and co have been placed in limbo.
Nigeria has happened to them.
Maybe before the dust settles, there may be another policy flipflop. When it comes to policy pronouncements, Nigeria is always on a roller coaster…

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