Vice President of Nigeria sees competition for banks in cryptocurrencies
Yemi Osinbajo wants the potential of blockchain and crypto to be met with „reason and caution“. Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President of Nigeria, praised cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology at a Crypto Engine business conference on Friday. „There is no question that blockchain technology, especially cryptocurrencies, will become competition for traditional banking in the coming years. How exactly is still unclear, but central banks will also be affected,“ as Osinbajo accordingly explained two days ago at a conference of the Central Bank of Nigeria. To that effect, he adds, „We need to prepare for this change because it will come sooner rather than later.“
In this context, the Nigerian vice-president emphasises how broadly diversified the crypto industry is
He explicitly refers to the Decentralised Financial Services (DeFi): „The Decentralised Financial Services are using smart contracts to operate autonomous financial instruments that no longer need a middleman like banks or brokers. This is going to be a big challenge for the traditional financial industry.“
Osinbajo’s speech, in which he makes many more points, is posted in full on his YouTube channel. On Twitter, the vice-president again summarised his arguments on cryptocurrencies.
„What I am saying is that these exciting developments need to be approached with reason and caution, which our government agencies have done quite well so far,“ Osinbajo says. To this he adds:
„We should be guided by reason, not fear. We need to ensure that we are in a position where we can prevent negative side effects of adoption, which can potentially be criminal in nature.“
The „praise“ for the crypto industry here is in stark contrast to recent developments in Nigeria. For example, the Central Bank of Nigeria had recently banned the country’s banks from interacting with crypto exchanges. The head of the central bank also recently denied the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is traded in Nigeria far above its global market value, which may explain this defensive attitude. However, the government of the African country, in the person of Osinbajo, is now much more open.