By Omodele Adigun and Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday declared that cryptocurrency will in no distant future challenge traditional banking and therefore called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to come up with robust regulations.
According to him, “cryptocurrency in the coming years will challenge traditional banking, including reserve banking, in ways that we cannot yet imagine, so we need to be prepared for that seismic shift.”
In a video released by the Media Assistant to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo in his keynote remarks he virtually presented at a one-day economic summit organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Banker’s Committee, and the Vanguard newspaper, themed “Bankers’ Initiative for Economic Growth”, he said: “Clearly, the future of money and finance especially traditional banking must be exciting, as it is frightening but as we’ve seen in many other sectors disruption makes room for efficiency and progress.
“I fully appreciate the position of the CBN, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and some of the anti-corruption agencies on some of the abuses of cryptocurrency and their well-articulated concerns.
“I believe their position should be the subject of further reflection. There is a role for regulation here and it is in the place of our monetary authorities and SEC to provide a robust regulatory regime that addresses these serious concerns without necessarily killing the goose that might lay the golden eggs.
“So it should be thoughtful and knowledge-based regulation not prohibition. The point I am making is that some of the exciting developments we see call for prudence and care in adopting them, but we must act with knowledge and not fear.”
Emphasizing the need for monetary authorities to rethink their stand on crypto currencies, Prof. Osinbajo said, “there is no question that block-chain technology generally and crypto currencies, in particular, will in the coming years challenge traditional banking, including reserve (Central) banking, in ways that we cannot yet imagine. So, we need to be prepared for that seismic shift. And it may come sooner than later.”