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Nigerian lawmaker Babangida Ibrahim has said the country is ready to recognize cryptocurrencies as an investment class in its proposed Securities and Investments Amendment Bill, local news outlet Punch reports.

The amendment bill passed at the second hearing will allow the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to recognize cryptocurrency as capital for investment.

About a year ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ordered financial institutions to close the bank accounts of entities that facilitated cryptocurrency-related transactions. However, despite the ban, crypto transactions in Nigeria increased by 16%, representing more than $400 million, in February 2022.

Babangida Ibrahim, Charman of the Nigerian House Capital Markets and Institutions Committee, said the digital and borderless nature of cryptocurrencies makes it difficult for the CBN to ban cryptocurrency investments indefinitely.

As a result, the proposed bill seeks to provide a clear framework for cryptocurrency-related activities, including commodity exchanges, derivatives, and digital currencies, to operate under regulatory scrutiny.

Ibrahim said:

“In recent times, there are many changes within the capital market, especially with the introduction of digital currencies, commodity exchanges and many other things that are essential, which must be captured in the new Law.”

According to the legislator, the amendment project has passed the second hearing and is under review by the Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions. After that, it will be forwarded to the House of Representatives for final consideration and approval.

Crypto over CBDC

Nigerians have recently shown that they prefer permissionless cryptocurrencies to government-controlled digital currency.

The Nigerian central bank digital currency (CBDC), launched in October 2021, has reached just 270,000 users who have made transactions with a total value of $10 million.

By contrast, interest in cryptocurrency in the country has increased significantly as 26% of Nigerians reportedly own at least one crypto asset by 2022, while 63% consider cryptocurrency the future of money. . According to Business Insider Africa, Nigeria is the top destination in Africa for cryptocurrency adoption.

Paxful CEO Ray Youssef in a side conversation with CryptoSlateHe said Bitcoin owes its success in Nigeria to the efforts of young people putting off government restrictions in pursuit of Bitcoin freedom.