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BlockchainNigeria's Blockchain Policy: Why Crypto is Not Included

Nigeria’s Blockchain Policy: Why Crypto is Not Included

The Nigerian government has approved a national blockchain policy aimed at facilitating the country’s digital economy and enhancing citizen confidence in digital platforms. Despite the move being celebrated by industry experts, it has raised questions about why the government is yet to welcome cryptocurrency, which remains the most prominent use case of blockchain. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) banned banks from facilitating crypto transactions in July 2021, citing terrorism financing and money laundering. The bank’s action has left many wondering why a pro-blockchain government is still crypto-averse.

National Blockchain Policy: Why is crypto still not welcome?

The Nigerian government is seeking to develop a regulatory framework for the other use cases of blockchain, as the national blockchain policy draft reveals. It highlights that the government is still crypto-averse and aims to redirect focus to other areas where blockchain technology can be used for economic development. According to Christian Duffus, founder and CEO of blockchain startup Fonbnk, the government may have implemented the policy as a reactionary measure to signal its support for blockchain technology after the ban on crypto. However, Oluwatobiloba Ajayi, a blockchain expert and founder of B2B crypto startup Ivory Pay, is sceptical that the policy will help crypto, as it takes control and oversight of finances off the government’s watch.

How does the Blockchain Policy help?

The policy’s main objective is to develop a blockchain-powered economy that supports secure transactions, data sharing, and value exchange between people, businesses, and the government. The policy provides a government-led approach to the adoption of blockchain technology in Nigeria, with initiatives outlined in the policy’s strategy framework, including the promotion of blockchain business incentives programmes and the establishment of a national blockchain sandbox for proof of concepts and pilot implementation. Nnamdi Uba, the CEO of HouseAfrica, revealed that he had been working on the policy project for the past three years, highlighting that blockchain does not start and end with crypto. He added that the policy conveyed a friendly regulatory framework for blockchain startups in the country.

Conclusion

Although Nigeria has approved a national blockchain policy, the government is yet to welcome cryptocurrency, which remains the most prominent use case of blockchain. The policy aims to create a blockchain-powered economy that supports secure transactions, data sharing, and value exchange between people, businesses, and the government. The policy provides a government-led approach to the adoption of blockchain technology in Nigeria, with initiatives outlined in the policy’s strategy framework that may incentivise builders and investors in the niche.

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