CBN Cryptocurrency ban and its effect on Nigerian youths

CBN Cryptocurrency ban and its effect on Nigerian youths

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On Friday February 5th, 2021, the Nigerian government and the Central Bank of Nigeria released a circular banning all sorts of trade involving the use of Cryptocurrency in the country and threatening to impose strict sanctions upon those who refuse to obey their directives and persist in trading with cryptocurrency.

The Central Bank further threatened to freeze and close any bank account found sending or receiving money through Cryptocurrency in its bid to clamp down on the use of cryptocurrency.

This decision was received with a lot of backlash towards the Nigerian government, as the citizens of the country kicked against it, referring to the decision as barbaric and outdated.

In the world today, cryptocurrency has taken centre stage with a lot of transactions carries out all over the world using this medium now. Instead of paying through money, a lot of industries have employed the use of Cryptocurrency to make their payments easier.

Some examples of these include Nexford University, an online University which recently announced that its students could pay for their tuition with Bitcoin, as well as the NFL franchise, Carolina Panthers who paid their player, Russell Okung half of his salary through Bitcoin.

A Spanish third division side, DUX Internacional de Madrid also signed striker David Barral with the use of Bitcoin in football’s first big cryptocurrency move. These examples indicate that the world is moving towards an era where Cryptocurrency becomes the universal currency.

The world’s richest man, Elon Musk has publicly backed the Cryptocurrency Dogecoin to become the future currency of Earth. I know that very soon, Cryptocurrency will be a payment method on as well.

Nigeria has been named as the world’s second largest cryptocurrency base after the United States of America with a trade volume exceeding $1.5 billion in 2020 alone, owing to many its youths getting involved in cryptocurrency business despite the obvious risks it carries.

The Nigerian government’s decision therefore affects the young Nigerians a lot more than any other demographic group because they have invested their time and money into Cryptocurrency.

It is widely known that cryptocurrency is beyond regulation, making it very easy to move without problems. During the #EndSARS protests across Nigeria, the body responsible for logistics and care of the protesters, FemCo received donations from all over the world in Bitcoin, allowing them to be able to access the money even when the Central Bank of Nigeria froze their bank accounts.

This might have irked the government and officials of the Central Bank and causes this clamp down on Cryptocurrency.

The Nigerian government has said that its reason for the clamp down is to try and arrest the free fall of the Nigerian Naira against the US Dollar.

However, it is no secret that a lot of the policies implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria have been known to add more hardship to the lives of Nigerians, rather than make life easier.

The way forward for Cryptocurrency traders is now surely peer to peer (P2P) transactions, where they exchange their cryptocurrency and get paid without their banks knowing what the money being deposited into their account is for. Nigerians always find a way, and I do not expect this to be different.

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