Nigeria’s experience holds lessons for governments around the world, many of which are now thinking hard about how to regulate digital currencies. Britain’s chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is looking at creating a central-bank-controlled version, already being called Britcoin. EU regulators have set out plans to make digital currencies more traceable, in order to combat money laundering. In rural China, rows of computers used to create bitcoin in a computational process known as “mining” are being switched off after a clampdown by the authorities. The ruling party imposed a ban on transactions in May.
Elsewhere, Egypt, Turkey and Ghana have sought to clamp down on crypto trading, wary of potentially vast movements of digital funds beyond their regulatory controls.
Nigeria has one of the youngest populations in the world and is ripe for digital finance. With many people looking for ways to escape widespread poverty, pyramid schemes are proliferating.