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CBN mulls digital currency

By Ibukun Igbasan
15 September 2017   |   3:00 am
Following cautious considerations, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has commenced arrangement to introduce a digital currency in a move to key into the global adoption of Crypto currency initiative.


Following cautious considerations, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has commenced arrangement to introduce a digital currency in a move to key into the global adoption of Crypto currency initiative.
The Deputy Director/Head, Payments System Policy and Oversight, CBN, Musa Jimoh, disclosed this at the Crypto currency conference recently held in Lagos.
Crypto currency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency, and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

Jimoh said the Apex bank “cannot stop the tide of waves generated by the blockchain technology and its derivatives. Currently, we have taken measures to create four departments in the institution that are looking forward to harmonise the white paper on Crypto currency.”

Before now, the CBN had been wary to adopting digital currency until it had concluded assessment on its transaction methodology, especially as it has been said that “decentralised crypto currencies such as bitcoin now provide an outlet for personal wealth that is beyond restriction and confiscation.”
Speaking on the development, the President, Information Security Society of Nigeria (ISSAN), Dr. David Isiawe, said: “The reality that is before us today, particularly in Nigeria, is that the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), blockchain and Crypto currency are facts that we must face, whether we like it or not. We cannot wish this reality away. It is made worse when we realise that we are still grappling with current challenges of e-commerce and other electronic payment systems but technology development and advancements are not waiting. 

“The impact of the emergence of blockchain and Crypto currency will be felt in the nation just as in the global community. Nigerian must be proactive rather than reactive by considering how these technologies would affect and influence our lifestyles and business operations and channel, and thus fashion our rules of engagement for their adoption.”

Isiawe also admonished prospective investors to be careful investing in Crypto currencies, as every investment has its share of risks.The conference tagged: “Learning to Glow with the Flow,” also served as the debut of a new coin, Corion.

Highlighting the coin, the President, Corion Platform, Ida Frauda, said: “Crypto currency is a currency that allows parties to exchange value. Unlike gold, paper money and other means of payments, Crypto currency is digital and decentralised granting transactions to be made without intermediaries and giving the transactors control over their money.

“With the Corion, users have daily payments and value storage with a staple price, fair distribution of benefits, keys to the challenges to engage the majority in using Crypto currency on a daily basis, an ecosystem to get the financial benefits from merely being a user. They make transaction in multiple currencies, peer-to-peer exchange in a limitless market in the global market; make money from the daily coin release from the increasing number of users instead of speculation.”

For the conference organiser, Chimezie Chuta, Nigeria should create learning institutions to educate and engage the youths and make them relevant in this space.

He urged the youths to equip themselves with learning blockchain, as it is the technology of the future. “Any sector can be on it like the Internet, which will lead to a skill shortage. People should read online, and research as many firms are going to be requiring blockchain experts in their sphere. The blockchain technology can be used across boards like smart contract, e-voting, identity management, healthcare. We should not be sole users rather; we should harness our numerical strength in his space,” said. 

The Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Digital Encode, Oluseyi Akindeinde, said crypto currency is the currency of the future. “This currency cannot be monopolized by any government or company. It allows transparency; the velocity of transactions can be monitored with the blockchain, as it cuts across borders of accounts with the use of Applications.”

Highlighting the use of blockchain for transactions, Akindeinde said: “The technology is not only used for Crypto currency, although, the naira can be on the blockchain just like some other countries, so instead of spending bitcoin, everyone can spend the naira and transfer from peer to peer without going to financial institutions. Nonetheless, it can be used for land registration, stock exchange. Everything that has value can be used on the blockchain.”

Speaking on the security of the blockchain, he said: “If the CBN places the naira on it, then they are securing it with the hashing power of the blockchain. Presently based on the design which has been in existence since 2009, the blockchain is hack-proof due to the encryption and cryptography technology.

“The reasons banks are prone to hack is because they are centralised. Blockchain is decentralised. It is located everywhere there is Internet, so except someone hacks the entire Internet, then they can hack the blockchain system.”

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