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Coinbase CEO clears up rumors: government has not banned Nigerians from cryptocurrency exchanges

Coinbase, a prominent US-based cryptocurrency exchange, has refuted allegations that it was instructed by the Nigerian government to prevent its citizens from using its cryptocurrency trading services.

The denial came directly from Coinbase CEO Boo Brian Armstrong, who addressed the issue via a post on X. Armstrong clarified that Coinbase’s services are still operating in Nigeria and no disruption has been reported.

Armstrong emphasized that Coinbase has not been approached or contacted by Nigerian officials regarding such directives.

Brian Armstrong stated, “To the best of my knowledge, this is inaccurate WRT Coinbase .The Coinbase product is still operational (no disruption) and we have not received any outreach or communication from Nigerian officials.”Bitcoin Miner

Controversy Surrounding Nigeria’s Cryptocurrency Restrictions

The controversy was sparked earlier this week by reports that the Nigerian government had instructed telecom companies to block access to multiple cryptocurrency trading platforms, including Coinbase, Binance and Kraken.Kaspa Miner

The purported motive behind the restrictions was to curb alleged manipulation of the foreign exchange market, specifically the Nigerian Naira spot rate on platforms such as Coinbase, which was reportedly around N1,850 per dollar prior to the imposition of the alleged restrictions.

Despite these claims, many Nigerians continue to access their accounts on platforms such as Coinbase, indicating a lack of concrete evidence to support the reported government directive.

The lack of official confirmation of access restrictions on Coinbase, Binance and Kraken further adds to the ambiguity of the situation.

Nigeria is believed to have one of the largest cryptocurrency populations in the world, with transaction volumes in the country’s cryptocurrency space reaching $56.7 billion between July 2022 and June 2023, according to blockchain analytics firm Chainaanalysis.

Nigeria’s dual approach to cryptocurrencies and blockchain

Despite Nigeria’s rather unfavorable regulatory stance on cryptocurrencies, there seems to be considerable interest in blockchain technology in the country.

In a recent interview with Sunday PUNCH, Oluseyi Akinde, CEO of Hyperspace Technologies, emphasized the potential of blockchain in enhancing security in the pharmaceutical industry.

Akindeinde advocates the use of blockchain to serialize pharmaceuticals and integrate robust security features to combat the proliferation of counterfeit drugs.

His proposal includes incorporating encrypted non-homogeneous token (NFT) tags into medicines to provide them with unique identities and enhanced security measures.

Through the encryption of these NFTs, authorized individuals can access ownership details and other important information, ensuring the integrity of digital assets stored on the blockchain.



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