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About $400 million worth of crypto currencies was traded in Nigeria in 2021, according to Statista, a global market data tracker, placing Nigeria, behind the United States and Russia in the world.

On Sunday, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey reacting to an opinion article by NFL star Russell Okung in Bitcoin Magazine said “the people of Nigeria will lead Bitcoin” despite the Nigerian authorities clamp down on crypto trade.

Okung, a Nigerian and self-acclaimed Bitcoin proponent, wants Nigeria to focus on achieving “economic independence and financial sovereignty” by setting up a Bitcoin Standard.

Unfortunately, Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN) prohibited financial institutions from trading in cryptocurrency and  ordered banks to identify and close down all accounts involved in the transfer or exchange of cryptos.

According to the CBN statement, “The bank hereby wishes to remind regulated financial institutions that dealing with cryptos or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.”

Despite the action, many young Nigerians found alternative ways of buying and selling cryptos as  the naira, continues to slide against the dollar.

“It is no secret that the current global economic environment is worrisome and unsustainable … Sadly, the fate of the Nigerian economy is in the hands of global central bankers who do not represent the best interests of the Nigerian people. Despite the challenges we face, the resilience of Nigerians continues to inspire.” Okung wrote in the Bitcoin magazine opinion page.

Okung also pointed to the finite supply of the digital currency as one of its main attractions urging Nigeria to act within the “limited window”.

He said, Iran, Russia, China and Kenya are already “mining or otherwise utilising bitcoin,” partly as a means of circumventing sanction by the United States which has excluded them from full participation in the global financial system.

“Other nations like Barbados, Singapore and Malta have moved to become “Bitcoin friendly” while El Salvador, became the first country in the world to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender.

Dorsey’s tweet on Sunday came several days after deleting President Buhari’s tweet which earned the platform a ban, and a day after Nigeria celebrated Democracy Day, with many people raising in the country’s major cities to protest bad governance.

According to Nigeria’s officials, the crypto trade clamped-down, will help to prevent laundering stolen money and fund terrorism.

The country is currently embroiled in sectarian violence and terrorism by Jihadist and Fulani cattle herders (kins of President Buhari) as their demand for  free grazing route (RUGA) across Southern Nigeria is keenly resisted by  state governors.

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