Today, the Senate of Nigeria —which has similar legislative powers to the U.S. Senate — shared notes from its daily proceedings. Among the presentations of bills and reports was discussion of a recent reminder from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that financial institutions are prohibited from facilitating any accounts transacting with cryptocurrency exchanges.
During that discussion, a Nigerian official made a concession that many Bitcoiners champion, but few governmental representatives have ever made. Senator Sani Mohammad Musa announced that Bitcoin has all but superseded Nigeria’s fiat system.
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The reminder came after local groups aiding those protesting the actions of a controversial police unit, known as SARS, were cut off from institutional financial services and began leveraging Bitcoin as a sovereign alternative.
“Over the course of the past week, we’ve had restrictions placed on our bank accounts and many people who have donated to us or received donations from us have also alleged and complained of restrictions placed on their accounts by certain banks,” Dami Odufuwa, an organizer of one such aid group, told Bitcoin Magazine in October 2020. “This is what forced us to move to decentralized payment platforms and only accept donations in bitcoin using BTCPay.”
Some in Nigeria believe that the recent reminder of the cryptocurrency prohibition was motivated by these protest and aid groups switching to alternatives like bitcoin.
“There’s a direct line that can be drawn from the EndSARS protests — which carried on partly with funding from cryptocurrency…