Former presidential candidate, Kingsley Moghalu, has said that $500 million worth of Bitcoin has been traded in Nigeria within the last five years.
Moghalu, who was once the Head of Directorate of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (a unit which he says is in charge of the financial systems), disclosed these figures while reacting to the recent CBN policy which directed all banks to close accounts that transact in cryptocurrency.
“A lot of the activities across the world are going digital, and I would not recommend banning it (cryptocurrencies) outright,” Mr Moghalu said in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
“$500 million worth of Bitcoin has been traded in Nigeria within the last five years and Nigeria is one of the top 10 countries in the use of cryptocurrencies in the world today”.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, on Friday, ordered all banks to close accounts of anyone who transacts in cryptocurrency.
According to the CBN, dealing in cryptocurrency or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is banned.
However, Moghalu faulted the directive, noting that the move is seen as though the government is always taking actions to take away opportunities from Nigerians especially in a depressed economy.
He believes that any investment has risks and if he was in a position to make a decision, it would be to balance the risks as against the country’s current realities.
According to the former presidential candidate, regular currencies depreciate as against cryptocurrencies such as the BTC but many Policies from the bank in the past few years have not been favourable.
“The Nigerian Government should try to make the investment climate far more friendly and efficient than it is now.
“It is unfriendly, that’s why the foreign investment is declining,” he said.