Some foreign exchange (forex) traders under the umbrella of the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) have commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for placing an embargo on cryptocurrency trading in the country.
President of the association, Mr Aminu Gwadabe, while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, said the alleged money laundering through the channel was unacceptable, urging the apex bank to punish those found wanting in accordance with the law.
According to him, the action of the CBN was to curtail an emerging dangerous trend that was capable of eroding Nigeria’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) gains.
“There is need for every segment of the financial system to be regulated and guided by the CBN Act, BOFIA, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing Terrorism guidelines, Know Your Customer (KYC) Requirements for a safe and secured Nigeria and stable financial system,” he said.
Mr Gwadabe further said cryptocurrency trading was becoming widespread to the extent that every segment and operators in the financial industry was becoming vulnerable to their operations that are not guided by regulation.
“That is why many financial sector regulators, prominent financial institutions, including global banks, and investment firms, are moving swiftly against the cryptocurrency operators.
“All over the world, no regulatory institution has given a fiat approval of the new digital money due to its vulnerability to money laundering and counter-terrorism financing.
“It is, therefore, the belief of our association that the measures of the CBN will ensure the confidence of our foreign partners to boost economic growth,” the ABCON chief said.
He said those against the ban should have advised the government to introduce Digital Agri-business to Nigeria’s teeming youth for capacity and self-employment.
Mr Gwadabe pointed out that before placing a ban on financial dealings that do not conform with the norm, the regulator must have gotten a financial intelligence on such operations, as seen in kidnappers collecting Bitcoin for ransom.
The forex trader said he believes that every player in the financial sector should be regulated, and where such regulations are not available, caution should be applied.