Nigeria: Crypto Experts Call for Regulations to Help the Industry Grow

Cryptocurrency experts in Nigeria have recently called for “urgent regulations” on cryptocurrencies so the sector can gain the public’s trust, and become beneficial for the country’s economy.

Luno, a South-African based crypto startup that operates in 40 other countries, has reportedly claimed that regulations will strengthen cryptocurrency-related operations in the country. At an event called Luno Meet in Lagos, country manager Owenzie Odia argued regulations will help cryptos’ popularity surge.

Speaking on the theme “Building Trust in Nigeria’s cryptocurrency Market,” Odia noted the sector has various risks, which include volatility and bitcoin’s fame as a currency used for illicit purposes on the dark web, but added his platform has been growing at a steady pace.

So much so that, per Odia, Luno already has over two million users across the globe, and has traded over $3 billion “in the last few years. She went on to list some of the advantages cryptocurrencies bring to the table – from being decentralized and safe, to being programmable and optionally transparent – to note the technology surrounding them is “evolving to meet human needs with speed and convenience.”

The expert noted Luno is targeting West, East, and Southern Africa so it can reach up to 20 countries over the next three years. Lucky Uwakwe, another cryptocurrency expert, added that cryptocurrencies are here to stay, and that when these are regulated “confidence and trust of the people will expand its reach.”

According to the results of a survey Luno carried out, 65% of respondents are familiar with crypto, while 25% own some. Out of those, 29% own both bitcoin and ethereum two of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the market.

As to why they bought cryptocurrencies, 51% claimed to view the asset class as an investment, while 19% revealed they used cryptos for remittance payments. 16% used them to shop online, while 11% sent family or friends money using them.

Per Olaleye Awe, another Nigerian crypto expert, the sector has a “great future” in the country, but won’t overtake fiat currencies. With regulations, he added, “confidence will be boosted and people will have trust in the scheme.”

As CryptoGlobe covered, the head of Nigeria’s opposition party has notably promised progressive cryptocurrency policies if elected president. The head of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) expressed his concerns about the evolution of cryptocurrency from a regulator’s standpoint earlier this month.

Bank of England Governor Recommends Replacing Dollar With 'Libra-Like' Digital Currency

  • BOE Governor Mark Carney proposed replacing the US dollar with a libra-like digital currency as the global reserve. 
  • Called for a dramatic shift in policy to address the changing economic landscape. 

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has made a radical recommendation for central banks that the U.S. dollar be replaced with a Libra-like digital reserve currency. 

Replacing the Dollar

Speaking at the Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole Symposium on Aug. 23, Carney called for a dramatic shift in global monetary policy that would see central banks taking a greater interest in digital currencies such as Facebook’s forthcoming libra. 

The BOE Governor’s proposal would replace the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency with a digital alternative. While it was unclear if Carney was actually suggesting that libra could be used to fill the void, his intent was to spur interest in a fiat alternative for global reserves. 

Carney argued that proactively replacing the dollar with a digital coin substitute would be preferable to allowing another national currency usurp its status--such as the Chinese renminbi. 

He pointed to the global economic uncertainty in part being generated by deteriorating U.S. trade relations, 

The combination of heightened economic policy uncertainty, outright protectionism and concerns that further, negative shocks could not be adequately offset because of limited policy space is exacerbating the disinflationary bias in the global economy.

He continued, 

When change comes, it shouldn’t be to swap one currency hegemon for another. Any unipolar system is unsuited to a multi-polar world. We would do well to think through every opportunity, including those presented by new technologies, to create a more balanced and effective system.

Cryptocurrencies Gaining Prominence

The introduction of a non-fiat currency could have the effect of devaluing the dollar, and most national currencies, which could be one way for central banks to introduce inflation to erode away the record levels of debt accumulating globally. 

Some have speculated that an alternative asset such as gold could be used as an intermediate. However Carney, who announced several months ago he would be stepping down as Governor of the BOE, has shown a route to fiat alternatives which includes the creation of digital currencies.

He lauded the technology for its efficiency in payments and cross-border transactions, 

The most high profile of these has been Libra – a new payments infrastructure based on an international stablecoin fully backed by reserve assets in a basket of currencies including the US dollar, the euro, and sterling. It could be exchanged between users on messaging platforms and with participating retailers.

While Carney’s suggestion to replace the U.S. dollar is one of the most radical proposals yet, it does give insight into the global trend in central banks to pursue digital currencies as an alternative to their outdated fiat counterparts.