Nigerian crypto enthusiasts believe that local authorities’ ban on naira trading on cryptocurrency exchanges could further depreciate the national currency.

The executive secretary of the Blockchain Association of Nigeria (SiBAN), Rume Ophi, said that the Nigerian authorities are taking an impractical approach to the crypto industry. In particular, the government believes that it was international crypto platforms that contributed to the depreciation of the naira. Due to the rapid devaluation of the currency and the resulting high inflation rate of 29.9%, reaching a nearly thirty-year high, the Nigerian government has intensified its crackdown on cryptocurrency platforms.

According to Ofie, Nigeria could effectively regulate the cryptocurrency industry through the framework introduced by the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2022. The department was developing a pilot program for the circulation of tokenized assets and was ready to recognize cryptocurrencies as capital for investment.

Iwa Salami, an associate professor at the University of East London, also believes that Nigerian authorities are unfairly blaming cryptocurrencies for the devaluation of the naira, despite the fact that cryptocurrencies can be used for money laundering and drug trafficking. Instead of a complete ban on digital assets, the Nigerian authorities should develop balanced regulation of the industry, Salame noted. This will allow the country to achieve prosperity in the crypto industry without compromising the financial and economic stability of the country. The rules for regulating crypto assets should protect both crypto companies and investors, the associate professor is sure.

Now the Nigerian authorities are holding in custody the top manager of the largest crypto exchange Binance, Tigran Gambaryan. He was detained on charges of money laundering through cryptocurrencies and tax evasion. Recently, former US federal prosecutors demanded that President Joe Biden’s administration expedite Gambaryan’s release.