SIBAN Summit 2023: Nigerian Experts Push for Digital Asset Regulation

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In a bold move towards shaping the future of digital asset regulation in Nigeria, a cohort of Nigerian digital asset experts recently convened at the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN)’s Digital Assets Summit 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria.

Their spirited discussion on the panel, titled “The Future of Digital Assets: Regulatory Uncertainty and the Way Forward,” unveiled key insights into the challenges and solutions surrounding digital asset regulation in the nation.

As the nation grapples with the challenge of balancing innovation and security, the discourse at the SIBAN summit underscores the urgency for Nigeria to chart a clear regulatory path to safeguard investors while fostering scalability in the burgeoning digital asset space.

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Adedeji Owonibi, CEO of Convexity, commended The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for its proactive strides in creating developmental regulations for the blockchain and crypto industry.

Owonibi asserted that this initiative, while commendable, should have been taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) back in 2021, rather than the controversial decision to sever ties between cryptocurrency exchange firms and local banks.

Preye Itonyo, Deputy Director of NITDA’s Digital Economy Development Department, acknowledged the hurdles stemming from the decentralized nature of blockchain technology, which contributed to the lack of understanding among Nigerians, ultimately leading to the 2021 crypto/traditional finance ban.

Despite being recognized as the most cryptocurrency-aware population globally, with 90% of respondents expressing an interest in cryptocurrency investments in the coming year, Nigeria’s crypto landscape remains vulnerable due to the absence of comprehensive regulations.

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Itonyo disclosed that NITDA has embarked on establishing a steering committee to drive the implementation strategies of the national blockchain policy, with active participation from the CBN and the Nigerian Communications Commission.

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