The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC) and Central Bank of Nigeria are considering the possible use of the Crytocurrency callled bitcoin in carrying out transactions in the economy.
This was revealed during the 2016 Workshop for Financial Correspondents in Kaduna.The The Managing Director, , Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, said the commission and CBN had set up a committee to look into the trending digital currency, Bitcoin.
He quoted the Btcoin.org, as using a peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part.
Ibrahim said “On our part, we have constituted a committee together with the central bank to have an in debt study of this phenomenal bitcoin.
“We will also look at what it means for money laundering, anti-corruption, crime and measurement of money /near money instrument for the economy.
“But we need a lot of education to do this and I’m calling on you (media) to educate yourselves about all of this so you can educate the public,” he said.
Ibrahim said ‘bitcoin’ included what is being called block-chain technology-based products in the market.
He said that a lot of Nigerians had already started patronising bitcoin, stressing that ‘it had started to creep in and nobody could stop it.
He said that in Europe and the United States, it had gained currency and some of the leading banks in Europe had also adopted their own versions of bitcoins.
“Some of the central banks have also adopted it and are seriously doing everything possible to bring in the emergence of this invisible products.
“The owners do not need any central bank; they do not need any physical bank.
“If you are a subscriber, you only know yourselves and they give you a bit of the bitcoin and in some countries, you can convert it to cash.
“You can make payments with it because it has been recognised and one of the famous ex-chief executive of Barclays PLC, Antony Jenkins, have joined the group’s board of directors,” against Ibrahim said.He explained that the financial service industry is not spared in all of this.
“But we have a very long way to go and it is your responsibility, as journalists, to continue to help educate Nigerians on the advantages of not keeping their money under their pillows and matrasses or in some cases in soak aways and ceilings.
“We know that people fear electronic fraud, but I can assure you that CBN and the banking community are doing everything possible to block all loop holes associated with mobile banking. “And the advantages far out ways the disadvantages,” he said