The Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has asked for a legal framework for the usage of cryptocurrencies in Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila is advocating for clear cut regulations on digital assets in Nigeria due to the speed at which the industry is growing, to prevent Nigeria from playing catchup in the future. According to a report by Daily Post Nigeria, the Speaker made these sentiments known during a visit by the board of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).
On the issue of cryptocurrency, I think blockchain technology is novel and coming up strong. We don’t want to be left behind.
He then cited the focus placed on blockchain technology at the latest G20 meeting:
Not too long ago, a group of world leaders, G20 met in Osaka, Japan and one of the issues they discussed was block-chain technology and cryptocurrency. They had a sub-group of leaders called the V20 established from that meeting. It’s an assemblage of virtual currency representatives.
I think the world is taking the issue of cryptocurrency and block-chain technology seriously. We don’t want to be left behind, and we have to take it seriously.
Nigeria currently leads the Google Trends chart for the Google Search keyword “Bitcoin” and “Buy Bitcoin”. These statements made by the Speaker provides a great opportunity for the growth of blockchain technology as the unregulated nature of the industry has brought about uncertainty among the general public on cryptocurrencies in Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila also indicated that the House is ready to put in the work needed for the regulatory framework that makes it safer and easier for the growth of cryptocurrencies in Nigeria as he fills it will put the country in the same conversation as other technologically advanced nations. He said:
“The House is ready to work with you on that so that we don’t get left behind, and within legislation and regulation of block-chain application that will put Nigeria within that rank of advanced technology.”
Nigeria is a booming tech landscape with a huge development in financial technology over the years. For instance, Nigerian fintech companies raised $17.6m in the first quarter of 2019, an 8.5% jump from the same time last year according to the Nigerian Startup Funding Report.
With such a rapidly growing financial ecosystem, cryptocurrencies stand a great chance to disrupt the status quo in Nigeria, due to their advanced functionalities over traditional systems.
Regulation has been a major factor for the lack of cryptocurrency adoption across the continent and developments like these provide prospects for a better future.
Femi Gbajabiamila Image Source - Premium Times Nigeria