For crytocurrency to earn trust and become more beneficial to the economy, experts in the industry have called for the urgent regulation of the sub-sector. A player in Nigeria, Luno, which also operates in 40 other countries, made the call in Lagos, stressing that regulations will strengthen crytocurrency operations.
The cryptocurrency market is in constant flux, regulators worldwide are grappling with ways to control trading, and traditional banking systems are far from being isolated from the global phenomenon. Cryptocurrency, developed through the backbone of Blockchain technology, was once only associated with sales in the underbelly of the Internet.
Speaking at Luno Meet with the theme: ‘Building Trust in Nigeria’s crytocurrency Market,’ the Country Manager, Luno, Owenzie Odia, said regulation will give the initiative a lift. Odia, who admitted that although the business had its own risks including fluctuation in prices; influence of hackers; forex challenges and the rest; noted that the platform has over two million customers across the globe, and had traded over $3 billion in the last few years.
He said cryptocurrency is decentralised, universal, interoperable, faster and safer, controllable, programmable and optionally transparent, adding that technology would also drive the currency, as it is evolving to meet human needs with speed and convenience. In Africa, Odia revealed that Luno was targeting three regions including West Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa, and targeting up to 20 countries over the next three years.
Also speaking at the event, Lucky Uwakwe, a cryptocurrency expert, said the currency has come to stay, adding that when government regulations backed it up, “confidence and trust of the people will expand its reach.”
From his perspective, Olaleye Awe, also an expert in the field, said cryptocurrency has great future in Nigeria, noting that although the currency will not take over the market by fiat, especially because of the underbanked and unbanked populace, “but with regulation, confidence will be boosted and people will have trust in the scheme.”
According to him, cryptocurrency is the future of commerce, “but there is a need for Nigeria to speed up on it.” Meanwhile, from the study carried out by Luno, Odia explained that 65 per cent of people are familiar with it; 25 per cent own a currency; and 29 per cent own bitcoin and Ethereum. Also, 51 per cent view cryptocurrency as an investment, 19 per cent used it for remittance, 16 per cent for online shopping, and 11 per cent for transfer to family and friends.