• Nigerian chairman Babangida Ibrahim recently announced plans to pass a law making the usage of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies legal in the country.
• This would amend the 2007 Investments and Securities Act and recognize bitcoin as legal capital for investment.
• If the proposed regulation is successful, it could be a major catalyst for the African continent’s most populated country.
In recent news, Nigeria has taken a big step towards recognizing the usage of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as legal forms of capital investment. Babangida Ibrahim, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Institutions of Nigeria, recently announced plans to pass a law making this usage legal. The proposed bill would amend the 2007 Investments and Securities Act and recognize bitcoin as legal capital for investment.
In February of 2021, Nigeria had effectively banned the usage of bitcoin, with a letter prohibiting regulated financial businesses from “dealing” with cryptocurrencies. Despite this ban, Bitcoin Magazine reported this same year that Nigeria had soared to become the largest volume of peer-to-peer bitcoin trading in the world, and Chainanalysis reports showed that Nigeria had greatly accelerated bitcoin adoption.
Chairman Ibrahim pointed to the country being behind in regards to regulation of the industry, saying “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.” If the proposed regulation is successful in properly addressing the growing bitcoin usage within the country, it could be a major catalyst for the African continent’s most populated country.
Despite the current ban, bitcoin has had a large presence in the country, including the construction of a Bitcoin village, Nigerian Bitcoiners participating in all sorts of development, and philanthropic work from Bitcoin companies. Additionally, mining has been an active industry in Nigeria.
With the proposed regulation, Nigeria could be on the forefront of bitcoin and cryptocurrency usage, joining countries like Switzerland, who have created a legal framework for the industry. Furthermore, this could be the first step towards Africa becoming a leader in the industry, as it could set a precedent for other countries on the continent to follow.