Nigeria’s Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that the proliferation of bitcoin (BTC), altcoins and distributed ledger technology (DLT) into the global financial ecosystem has made it quite critical for the most populous nation in Africa to formulate amenable regulations for its cryptospace in order not to be left behind in innovation, reports Daily Post on July 23, 2019.
Per sources to the matter, Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, retired Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila, has given his take on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology as it concerns the oil-rich nation.
In a chat with members of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), the agency responsible for providing a safety net for depositors in the banking sector, Gbajabiamila reiterated that a lot of nations across the globe have started paying attention to cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology and Nigeria must also take it seriously.
“Recently, a group of world leaders met in Osaka, Japan and one of the issues discussed was DLT and cryptos. I think the world is taking the issue of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology quite seriously. We don’t want to be left behind, and we have to take it seriously.”
Earlier in January 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria had made it clear that bitcoin and other digital assets were illegal in the nation.
To change that narrative, Gbajbiamila has declared that the Nigerian house of Reps will work with the NDIC to put in place legislation that would put Nigeria on the map as a hotbed for new technologies just like Malta, Gibraltar, and others.
“The House is set to work with you [NDIC] on that so that we don’t get left behind, and within legislation and regulation of blockchain application that will put Nigeria within that rank of advanced technology.”
It’s worth noting that Nigerian authorities have been pointing their searchlight into the local crypto industry for quite some time now.
The Nigerian Upper House mandated the Banking Insurance and other relevant financial institutions to carry out investigations on bitcoin trading in the region to ascertain whether investments in digital assets are feasible.