Cryptocurrency may ‘lay golden eggs’, don’t kill it, Osinbajo tells CBN

The Vice-President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said it is in the place of the Central Bank of Nigeria as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission to address the serious concerns about cryptocurrencies without necessarily “killing the goose that might lay golden eggs”.

Osinbajo said this on Friday at a programme in Lagos where Vanguard hosted the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee.

The CBN had earlier this month prohibited regulated institutions from dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges.

It ordered banks and other financial institutions to close all cryptocurrency accounts – a development that has continued to draw widespread criticism.

Osinbajo said, “The point I’m making is that some of the exciting developments we see call for prudent and care in adopting them, and this has been very well articulated by our regulatory authorities,” he said.

“But we must act with knowledge and not with fear. We must ensure that we are in a position to benefit and prevent any of the adverse side effects or any of the possible criminal acts that may arise as the consequence of our adopting or taking any of these options.”

The Vice-President said he fully appreciated the strong position of the CBN, SEC, and some of the anti-corruption agencies on the possible abuses of cryptocurrencies and their other well-articulated concerns.

“But I believe that their position should be the subject of further reflection,” he said.

“There’s a role for regulation here, and it is in the place of our monetary authorities and SEC to provide a robust regulatory regime that addresses this serious concerns without necessarily killing the goose that might lay the golden eggs,” he added.

Osinbajo said in the coming years, cryptocurrencies “will challenge traditional banking, including reserve banking, in ways that we cannot yet imagine.”

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