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CIBN Breakfast: Stakeholders Explore Prospects For Blockchain Tech in Nigeria

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017 4.00 PM / Otto Abasiekong, Proshare WebTV

The rise and far-reaching impact of digital currencies which  fall under “BlockChain Technology” is becoming a major phenomenon, that is set to shape the global financial market.

This came to the fore at the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Nigeria(CIBN) breakfast session on Virtual/Cryptocurrencies, hosted at the bankers house  in Lagos.

It was an opportunity for key players in the financial and technology sectors, to assess the evolution, regulatory challenges and the likely impact of the future of payments and settlements in Nigeria and across the globe.

Giving the opening remarks the Ist Vice-President of the CIBN, Dr Uche Olowo said the forum was designed for experts to examine the concerns and issues around virtual/cryptocurrencies.

Dr Olowo noted that the entire blockchain technology has the power to deeply affect the traditional mode of payments and settlements in the financial market. According to him “It is seen as unstable and complicated by traditional financial institutions”.

Illustrating the impact so far of the Cryptocurrency, the “Bitcoin” Dr Olowo citing a recent CNBC news report for February,2017 affirmed that at the moment the bitcoin currency global circulation is currently $20bl.

In her keynote presentation, the MD Financial Services for Accenture Nigeria Mrs Toluwaleke Adenmosun identified loss of confidence in the traditional financial systems, inefficiency of regulators and cost of transactions, as reasons for thrincreasing interest in crytpocurrency.

She said the cryptocurrency had the advantages of transparency, elimination of fraud and decentralization 0f storage. A major disadvantage for Mrs Adenmosun, was it required scalability.

Mrs Adenmosun believed the banks must brace up for the changes to come through crytpocurrency, developing skills and capabilities for Block chain technology.

Speaking from the regulatory perspective, Mr Musa Itopa Jimoh Deputy Director(Banking & Payments System Department, CBN) stated that the CBN had set up an Industry wide committee to look into the BlockChain technology.

Mr Jimoh said the committee had the mandate to come up with a framework on the “Use areas”, which will utilize  the blockchain technology structures to strengthen financial transactions in the country.

He denied speculations that the Central Bank was planning to frustrate the Blockchain technology in the country, but rather asserted that the CBN only issued an  advisory, for Nigerians to exercise caution in the use of cryptocurrenies in financial transactions.

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