FG not seeing reality in today’s world – Crypto investor

February 9, 2021
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A crypto currency trader and founder of Cryptopreacher Blockchain Academy, Rume Ophi, has said recent steps taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria would make it difficult for crypto investors to come to Nigeria, adding that foreign investors would no longer be putting Crypto Exchange Platform in the country.

Ophi said the cryptocurrency traders in January met with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on how to regulate their operations, only to be hit by the CBN clampdown.

The CBN had on Friday directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) and Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) local financial institutions to close accounts belonging to crypto currency operators.

She said, “I think the government is not seeing reality in the world of today. This is technology, and you cannot fight technology. Agreed that technology has its bad side, they are supposed to be advised appropriately.

“SEC recognises cryptocurrency as a financial instrument. I was part of the committee that met the SEC about a month ago, to look at how regulations can be brought in. Little did we know that the CBN would come and clampdown on us,” he said.

According to Ophi, cryptocurrency traders have commenced offline operations outside approved exchange platforms following the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive that banks close their accounts.

“The banks are already sending us messages that they will no longer process Bitcoin payments. I have funds in my platform, and I do not intend changing it to naira anytime soon because of what is happening. I will leave the funds for a very long time. I know that from now to the next 10 years, the naira will continue to depreciate. It happened in Kenya, and that same plan was adopted and its working,” she said.

“We cannot process withdrawal and deposit using our platforms anymore, or through third party platform like Paystack or Flutterwave. But transactions will still go on, though it will be offline. This is not going to be easy for new entrants into the business, and new people may not come in,” she stated.

Continuing, Ophi said: “One of my customers just requested for $400, he will send me the naira equivalent of $400 and I will send him the Bitcoin. But previously, the transactions will pass through the trading platform and payment made through the banks.

Meanwhile, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by market volume, Binance has removed naira from its trading pairs.

In a statement posted on its website, Binance advised users to transfer their peer-topper wallet for transactions.

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