ccording to its local newspaper, Babangida Ibrahim, chairman of the Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions, the country will soon pass legislation legalizing the use of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The bill would amend the Investments and Securities Act of 2007 to include bitcoin as legal investment capital.
Nigeria effectively banned the use of bitcoin in February 2021 when it issued a letter forbidding regulated financial businesses from dealing with digital assets. In the same year, it was reported that the country had the highest volume of bitcoin peer-to-peer trading in the world, and Chainanalysis reports indicated that it had significantly accelerated bitcoin adoption.
When approved and signed into law, the Investments and Securities Act, 2007 (Amendment) Bill will enable the Securities and Exchange Commission to recognize cryptocurrency and other digital funds as capital for investment.
The proposed law will also define the roles of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Securities and Exchange Commission in terms of digital currency regulation.
The newspaper report characterized how Ibrahim pointed to Nigeria being behind in relation to regulation of the industry, saying, "As I said earlier during the second reading, we need an effective and vibrant capital market in Nigeria. To do so, we must be up to date on global practices."
If the proposed regulation adequately addresses the country's growing bitcoin usage, it could be a significant catalyst for the African continent's most populous country.
Despite the current ban, Bitcoin has had a significant presence in the country, along with the construction of a Bitcoin village, Nigerian Bitcoiners engaging in various forms of development, philanthropic work from Bitcoin companies, and mining being a productive industry there.
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