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Nigerian Crypto Firm Executive: Central Bank Prohibition Led to Growth in Crypto Awareness

The chief marketing officer (CMO) of a cryptocurrency payments solution company, Rotimi Ogunwede, has insisted that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s decision to bar crypto entities from the banking system may be the reason why Nigerians are now more knowledgeable about cryptocurrencies.

CBN Prohibition Forced Patricia to Establish Operations Outside of Nigeria

An executive with a cryptocurrency payments solution company called Patricia, has argued that cryptocurrency knowledge levels in Nigeria rose just shortly after the CBN asked financial institutions to exclude crypto entities from the banking ecosystem. The executive, Rotimi Ogunwede, insists such growth in knowledge levels, as well as the adoption of cryptocurrencies in general, shows that Nigerians are against the CBN’s tough policies.

Speaking in an interview with Legit, Ogunwede, who is the crypto payments company’s CMO, admitted that the CBN’s abrupt move on February 5 had affected Patricia. The same CBN prohibition, however, would later prove to be a key moment that forced the company to move its headquarters to Estonia.

In addition to pushing Nigerian crypto startups out, the central bank’s prohibition, according to Ogunwede, may have inadvertently raised a new generation of crypto advocates. He explained:

Following the Endsars protest, many young people were worried about depositing their money in banks and resorted to Cryptocurrency. However, this move metamorphosed into an investing adventure.

Instead of prohibiting or cracking down on crypto entities as the CBN has been doing since it issued the directive, the CMO suggested that the central bank needs to study the technology first and then find a way to regulate it. He suggested that this is already how regulators in countries like the U.K. are dealing with this financial technology.

The False Narrative

In the report, the CMO is also quoted seemingly responding to the anti-crypto remarks that were made by Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, in late 2021. As reported by News, Emefiele had repeated his past arguments that included the claim cryptocurrency transactions are untraceable.

However, in dismissing this narrative, Ogunwede said:

“I don’t understand where this narrative of cryptocurrency is untraceable, it is completely false, when in fact blockchain is constructed with transparency in mind. Patricia as a crypto company [has] in place know your customer [KYC] policy and there are companies dealing in tracking exchanges all over the world.”

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