Nigeria Set to Become the Next Country to Legalize Bitcoin

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The list of countries making Bitcoin legal tender is expanding every year. El Salvador became the world’s first last year, and since then, the Central African Republic did the same. Many other countries have been contemplating the same move as a solution to their financial troubles. Nigeria is set to become the next one, as the government just paved the way for new legislation that will make Bitcoin legal tender.

Nothing is certain, but if the bill passes—and there are great chances it will—the legal amendments will regulate crypto and Bitcoin. This is in stark contrast with the 2021 Nigerian government decision which effectively banned the use of Bitcoin, which resulted in soaring peer-to-peer trading of the coin.

Based on a 2007 Act

The newly proposed bill is based on the 2007 Investment and Securities Act. It seeks to regulate cryptocurrencies and recognize Bitcoin as legal tender for different types of investment. In 2021, the government recognized that Nigeria has accelerated Bitcoin adoption after seeing the peer-to-peer Bitcoin volume. It was among the highest in the world, which led the government to ban the use of Bitcoin. It sent a letter prohibiting business and financial organizations from dealing in cryptocurrencies.

A year later, the African country is on the way to legalize crypto. The bill was pushed by Babangida Ibrahim, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on all Capital Market and Institutions in the country. He says that Nigeria has been a few steps behind in regards to industry regulation. If Nigeria wants to be a modern country, it would have to update its crypto laws with global practices.

As Africa’s most populated country, Nigeria has seen its fair share of financial troubles. A solution isn’t likely soon with the national debt piling up, and that’s why the government is exploring all options. With a soaring Bitcoin trading volume, it was clear that businesses and organizations will benefit from accepting Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

Ibrahim served as Nigeria’s president between 1985 and 1993. He says that the government didn’t just do a 180-degree turn. This is a secondary review of the market and not a lifting of the ban. The government official is simply looking into the legality of cryptocurrencies. Previous efforts to crack down on crypto were largely unsuccessful and ineffective as adoption increased after the ban, so the government is now looking the other way.

Fast Results?

Everyone’s hoping that the bill will soon be passed and that it’ll offer fast results. Nigerian residents were found to be the most curious crypto nation in the world. With sky-high inflation and many economic problems, this isn’t a surprise. Passing Bitcoin as a legal tender might lessen the economic malaise. There’s no guarantee that it’ll work, but at least the government’s taking the right approach.

Nigeria has also made a deal with crypto exchange Binance in September to develop a new, crypto-friendly economic zone. It has the goal of supporting crypto and blockchain-related businesses in in Nigeria and the region which goes in line with the newly proposed bill.

December 21, 2022: • No Comments

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