Emefiele under fire for view on cryptocurrency

By Muhaimin Olowoporoku

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele has been under heavy fire online for describing cryptocurrency as money made out of thin air.

The CBN governor made this remark while briefing a joint Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions; ICT and Cybercrime; and Capital Market.

Emefiele said that cryptocurrency is used to describe the activities of players in an electronic dark world.

In a viral video of the governor’s address to the legislators, Emefiele said:

“Cryptocurrency is an electronic or digital currency that is issued by largely unknown, unregulated elements using computer codes that are basically meant to encrypt or hide information about the transactions and the operators”.

Emefiele also said that it is money made out of thin air and is used to describe the activities of players in an electronic dark world, where transactions are extremely black.

The CBN governor further said that people who deal in cryptocurrency transactions are those who do not want a trail and who cannot be trailed.

“I’m sure that these definitions are scary enough to create anxiety for any regulator or central bank in any part of the world.”

The CBN had ordered banks to close accounts of individuals that transact in cryptocurrency and stopped them from providing support for crypto firms.

The embargo on cryptocurrencies and the governor’s remark to legislators has led Nigerians especially youths on Twitter to blast the CBN governor.

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