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According to reports by a local Nigerian news outlet, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market, and Institutions of Nigeria, said the country will soon pass a law legalizing the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
A local newspaper reported that Babangida Ibrahim, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions of Nigeria indicated that Nigeria will soon pass a law making the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies legal. The bill, if passed, would amend the 2007 Investments and Securities Act, and would further recognize Bitcoin as legal capital for investment purposes.
Nigeria Backtracks on Its Bitcoin Ban
Bitcoin has had a very large presence in Nigeria even though in February 2021, the country effectively banned the use of the currency with a letter prohibiting regulated financial businesses from “dealing” with Bitcoin and crypto.
The report further describes how Ibrahim referred to the country as being behind regarding regulating the nascent industry. Ibrahim said:
Like I said earlier during the second reading, we need an efficient and vibrant capital market in Nigeria. For us to do that, we have to be up to date global practices.
Per reports by Bitcoin Magazine, should the proposed bill be passed, it would address Nigeria’s growing Bitcoin usage and could serve as a major catalyst for the country. Despite the current ban on cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin holds a strong presence in Nigeria with the construction of a Bitcoin village, philanthropic work from Bitcoin-related companies, Nigerian Bitcoiners actively participating in a vast development in the country, as well as the fact that Bitcoin mining is very active in the country.
The eNaira and Nigeria’s Hopes for a Cashless Society
Nigeria launched its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) called the eNaira in 2021. Along with the launch of its digital currency, the country also announced limits on the amount of cash citizens can withdraw in an attempt to increase the adoption of alternative payment methods according to reports by Crypto Potato. The Central Bank limited over-the-counter cash withdrawals to $225 per week for individuals and $1,123 for businesses. Nigeria’s attempt to go cashless also meant capping ATM cashouts at $45 per day, with only $0.45 notes and smaller denominations being available for withdrawals at ATMs. Customers can however still withdraw larger sums in certain instances but will be subject to a processing fee of between 5% and 10%.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.