There have been almost six months since the CBN directed banks to stop serving customers in the bitcoin sector. While the approach appears to have succeeded in removing crypto companies from the banking system, peer-to-peer commerce has increased.
Some analysts suggest that Nigeria remains unrivaled as the largest African bitcoin market. The Central Bank of Nigeria has, for its part, added the now customary promise to its regular arguments against cryptocurrencies that Nigeria would have its digital currency.
In order to better understand the dynamics and their impact on the Nigerian crypto sector, Bitcoin.com News met with the CEO and co-founder Chiagozie Iwu, Naijacrypto. Iwu answers all of those questions.
BCN and Chiagozie Iwu
BCN (News from Bitcoin.com) asked, can you briefly describe how your firm was affected by the CBN Directive. Chiagozie Iwu (CI) wrote that they were affected by the CBN policy forbidding banks from collaborating with crypto companies. They had to move funds to other accounts and canceled our bank accounts initially. They stopped fiat deposits but kept accepting withdrawals. This modification enabled clients to withdraw money without being deterred. This led to a reduction in reserves and retention of confidence. Certain foreign exchanges have prohibited both deposits and retirements, increasing the bitcoin price against the naira.
BCN then asked whether your company was working with Dash in Haiti to start a cryptocurrency exchange. Why is Haiti about to leave the Nigerian market, and does this mean that Naijacrypto would leave. CI said that for months previous to the CBN mandate, the Dash cooperation to extend Haiti was ongoing and was an initiative of the Dash team in partnership with Naijacrypto. He further added a springboard. We used Haiti to access the Caribbean markets as their next goal after Africa are the Caribbean and Latin American markets.
International Expansion Plans
BCN asked if they would like to grow in other markets too. The response of CI on this was yes. In the second quarter of 2022, they want operations to be established in 12 African and 3 Caribbean states.
BCN further asked, do they feel that CBN has watered down young Nigerian excitement in digital currencies. CI responded that in digital currencies, the excitement of Nigerian youth has not decreased. During this period, P2P exchanges such as Paxful and Binance p2p saw important progress. The Government has recently moved toward more underground markets and removed cryptocurrency trading from regulated exchanges such as Naijacrypto and Luno.
CBDC Has No Actual Blockchain
BCN asked that reports show that in October this year, CBN would start testing its CBDC or e-naira. For the digital currency business in Nigeria, and whether this is good or not. To this, the CI responded that as far as CBDC is concerned, he does not think this differs from what banks are doing today regarding internet banking and other services. Electronic transaction types are, in reality, the same as those of CBDC. Therefore financial inclusion is not further advanced. The CBDC has no actual blockchain, which means that it is not decentralized and hence totally unattractive to crypto-community members who favor decentralization and reject the Government’s power.
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