THE OPPOSITION LEADER IN NIGERIA PROMISES TO DEVELOP A FAIR REGULATION OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES IN CASE OF WINNING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
In preparation for the Nigeria President General election, which will be held in February 2019, Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-the largest opposition party in the country — in his program included the creation of “comprehensive regulation of the blockchain industry and digital currencies.” Atiku Abubakar, who served as Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, is currently working on the modernization of the country’s economy.
The decision to include cryptocurrency regulation in the election campaign was a surprise for the citizens of Nigeria, as the country’s financial regulator, headed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, has consistently conducted a very cautious study of digital currencies for a long time and has maintained a very conservative position in this area.
Nigeria’s financial regulatory environment has traditionally been seen as conservative, with banks having a significant impact on policy processes and decisions. Thus, despite the growing awareness and acceptance of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies among the population as a whole, the authorities repeatedly warned about the high risks of investing in cryptocurrencies.
In January 2018, the head of the Nigeria Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele described investments in the bitcoin “gamble” which should ideally be strictly regulated. Despite the Central Bank’s similar position, Nigeria is the leader in terms of bitcoin trading volume on peer-to-peer platforms among African countries. Last month, the London-based startup Coinfirm launched a blockchain network in Nigeria to counter fraud and began to conduct educational blockchain courses. According to the latest data, Nigerian business also prefers to pay in bitcoin instead of national currency.