The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry notes recent development in the digital and Cryptocurrency currency space within Nigeria and internationally. We are aware of the recent controversy on the subject, leading to the Central Bank directives to bank’s and financial institutions.
We are also not oblivious of the policy gap that currently exists on the subject. As noted by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Cryptocurrency is a global phenomenon which nations must address rather than run away from it. The policy lacuna impresses on the administration to consider possible options to prepare the nation to cope with the positive and negative fallouts of this new financial technology.
Global trends on the subject also make its imperative for Nigeria, the biggest economy in Africa, to act swiftly on the policy plane. Just this week, the biggest US cryptocurrency exchange, announced its listing on the Nasdaq, marking a milestone in the economic journey of virtual currencies. The listing is the biggest yet of a cryptocurrency company, with the San Francisco-based firm saying last month that private market transactions made the company valued at around $68 billion (€57 billion) this year, versus $5.8 billion in September.
Our Policy Centre at Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry has conducted extensive review of the subject under a new Policy Brief and we have arrived at a number of policy proposals for the Nigerian Presidency and all stakeholders.
In view of surging intrusion of the bitcoin into global and local financial system, we call on the Nigerian government to immediately set up a Presidential Commission on Cryptocurrency with the following terms of Reference namely:
- Review Cryptocurrency policy frameworks worldwide; • Assess successful, failing and failed frameworks globally; • Integrate and domesticate successful models for draft policy framework for Nigeria ; • Propose plan of action for phased usage of the technological currency within the Nigerian financial system.
We suggest that members of the Commission should be drawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Stock Exchange, banking /financial Institutions, bitcoin community, digital currency experts and relevant MDAs and OPS.
It is our considered view that such a commission will have all facts on the table and will be able to chart a sustainable path forward for Nigeria.