The Central Bank of Nigeria says it is not against the use of financial technology as the country steps up efforts to enhance its payment system.
The central bank said it was in support of innovations that would propel e-payment system growth in the country.
The Director, Banking and Payments System, CBN, Mr. Dipo Faitokun, who said these, however, emphasised the need for the regulator to examine the proposed usage of any innovation and put necessary guidelines in place for its success.
He spoke at a breakfast meeting on virtual currencies organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Lagos.
The forum was tagged, ‘Virtual/crytocurrency: Evolution, regulation, challenges and impact on the future of payments and settlement systems’.
He said the central bank was meant to support innovations that would improve safety while performing its statutory role of maintaining monetary and financial stability.
Fatokun, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Banking and Payment Systems, CBN, Mr. Musa Itopa, stressed that the central bank owed Nigerians the responsibility of warning them against investing their hard-earned money in any venture with high risks.
He said, “It’s the subject in town now: Bitcoin, crytocurrency and blockchain. The Central Bank of Nigeria cannot regulate bitcoin, blocckchain. Just the same way no one is going to regulate or control the Internet; we don’t own it.
“The CBN is interested in this technology called blockchain. And what we have said is that we want to identify the various use cases in which we can deploy the technology to do our business; that all the operators within the financial sector can use to conduct their business because it engenders strong benefit.”
He added, “But a lot of people misinterpreted it that we wanted to stop bitcoin. Bitcoin is not an invention of 2015 or 2012; it’s not even an invention of 2010. So, I need to clear that we are not here to stop the bitcoin usage but we are just throwing caution to Nigerians, just the same way we did when the MMM was introduced in the country.”