With significant number of young Nigerians as crypto holders, the ban of crypto currency has significant effect. In this interaction with Ray Youssef, crypto currency veteran and CEO of NoOnes, he talks on the potentials of digital currency trading in the country. KEHINDE AKINSEINDE-JAYEOBA brings excerpts:

WITH 13 million cryptocurrency holders, Nigeria has the largest crypto economy in Africa in terms of trade volume, what has been the drive?

The burgeoning crypto economy in Nigeria is propelled by a combination of factors: growing digital, literacy, active youth participation and a heightened awareness of blockchain’s financial opportunities.

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This convergence has given rise to a thriving ecosystem, where millions are actively engaged in cryptocurrency trading, driving significant trade volumes. It is evident that Nigeria’s embrace of digital innovation is reshaping its economic landscape, positioning the country as a key player in the global crypto market. However, sustaining this momentum requires continued support for education, innovation and regulatory clarity to ensure the long-term viability of the crypto sector.


The country has a huge exposure of its young and vibrant population to digital currency and Blockchain technology, what has been the impact of this on the economy?

Nigeria’s youthful populace, deeply immersed in digital currency and blockchain, has undeniably transformed the economy. This shift has sparked innovation, entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, creating pathways for wealth generation and economic growth, especially among young Nigerians.

Yet, it is frustrating to see how this potential is often stifled by inadequate regulatory frameworks and lacklustre governmental support. The energy and ingenuity of Nigeria’s youth deserve better recognition and facilitation, not bureaucratic hurdles and outdated policies. It is high time the authorities acknowledge and actively support this revolutionary movement, rather than hinder it with shortsightedness and inefficiency.


Following the classification of cryptocurrency trading as a national security issue by Nigeria’s National Security Adviser (NSA), CBN recently banned crypto trading, what are the likely consequences?

With cryptocurrency trading now labeled a national security issue and the recent CBN ban, we are bracing for a wave of adverse effects.

This approach is set to stifle innovation, drive trading underground and derail financial inclusion efforts. It is frustrating to see how these actions could deter foreign investments and hinder Nigeria’s progress in the global digital landscape. The potential for economic growth and technological advancement is being needlessly sacrificed, leaving the country lagging behind in the digital revolution.


Over the years, regulation has been the challenge of digital assets. How best can the Central Bank and other regulatory bodies go about this?

Establishing a balanced regulatory framework is paramount, one that nurtures innovation while simultaneously safeguarding consumer interests, market integrity and financial stability.

Engaging stakeholders, fostering open dialogue and harnessing technological solutions can significantly enhance regulatory effectiveness. By creating an environment where innovation can thrive within defined boundaries, we can ensure that the digital asset market grows sustainably while protecting all stakeholders. It is time to prioritise collaboration and forward-thinking regulation to pave the way for a robust and secure digital economy in Africa.


As an expert, what have been your challenges in digital assets trading, especially those peculiar to trading in Africa?

In Africa, digital asset trading faces a multitude of challenges, from regulatory ambiguity and infrastructural deficits to cybersecurity risks and financial literacy gaps. Navigating through cross-border transactions and adhering to diverse regulatory landscapes only compounds the complexity for traders and exchanges. These hurdles are stifling the growth of the digital asset market in the region and hindering its potential to contribute significantly to economic development. It is imperative that stakeholders address these issues collaboratively and decisively to unlock the full potential of digital asset trading in Africa.


What’s your advice to stakeholders in Africa, especially digital asset exchange operators?

It is time to step up, but never lose sight of your roots. Stay legitimate, maintain transparency and cultivate a community built on trust, inclusivity and groundbreaking innovation. We can’t afford to fall short. It is high time to demonstrate that Africa is a force to be reckoned with in the digital realm. Let’s make our mark and show the world what we are capable of.

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