Recent Crypto Crackdown in Nigerian Calls for Regulation

Amid the current situation regarding Nigeria struggling with inflation rates which now approaches 30 percent and a rapidly depreciating naira, Nigeria officials have turned their attention to crypto exchanges, accusing them of devaluing the naira. However, this has sparked a debate in the nation’s crypto community.

The executive secretary of Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN), Rume Ophi believes that it is misguided to accuse crypto platforms of causing the decline of the naira. As an alternative solution, he advocates for better rules rather than complete prohibition.

Iwa Salami, an Associate Professor at the University of East London, mirrored this way of thinking in a comment. She noted that while digital currency may be associated with illicit practices, it has never been responsible for currency depreciation. Salami further calls for fair regulations that protect financial stability without killing innovation.

This year, Nigerian authorities escalated their efforts, resulting in major firms like Binance being investigated and charged with crimes like tax avoidance and evasion. 

According to experts including Salami, leveraging on existing frameworks as introduced by the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission in 2022 could be more impactful. These frameworks require exchanges to identify wallet holders involved in suspicious activities, providing oversight while nurturing industry growth.

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