UK based Nigerian capital markets trader, Sam Onigbanjo in this interview with Mashe Umaru Gwamna spoke on why banning Cryptocurrency is a bad move for the Nigerian Economy, other. Excerpts:
Let’s meet you
My name is Sam Onigbanjo, i’m the Founding Partner of The Capital Markets Academy. I have helped over 1,000 business leaders start and grow their businesses. I currently have a vision of empowering another 10,000 with digital transformation skills. I was honoured as one of 100 most Influential Nigerians in the UK at the Nigerian Centenary awards in 2010.
So what is Cryptocurrency and your take on its ban by the Central Bank of Nigeria?
Today, Cryptocurrency is worth $1.7 trillion, and its average daily global trading worth is $133 billion. These staggering amounts of real money are based on “Perceived worth”. In other words, there is no true value behind this amount, and for all the apprehensive, this is something to fear and flee from. However, for every true Investor or economist, you would be able to spot the opportunity made available for the savvy to invest and make great returns on investment.
In the words of the Governor of the CBN , Cryptocurrency is a digital currency, this is correct he also says created by dark elements this is incorrect. Cryptocurrencies are mined on blockchains the most secure environment in the world that actually removes centralised power from the big players and countries and gives an opportunity to “Anybody” or Country that chooses to join in, participate and lead.
This is exactly how wealth is created by daring to risk leading in new territories. I quote the Governor “It is seen as money created out of thin air.” Value is created by perception. A shirt could cost N1,000 but if the same shirt bears a valuable brand name it can then be retailed at the perceived value “Out of thin air at N250,000.
Let me share a few more examples. Hundreds of years ago, Kings and rulers, felt that the earth was straight and if you walked to the end you would literally fall off. Another one is before Europeans came to Africa, there was no history or governance and wild beasts lived, killed and ate the inhabitants. The reason why I share these myths is because they come from the same place, a place of not enough knowledge or people feeding others incorrect information.
Does Nigeria have to ban Cryptocurrency?
I suspect with the Governor of CBN, like many more established business leaders, there is great resistance to cryptos. However, the question here is, does Nigeria have to follow the pathways that other leaders and countries control? Do we have to be puppets, only moving according to external masters? I know cryptocurrency is an opportunity for “New economic leadership.” In the last 2 weeks, South African Elon Musk, Founder of Tesla and Space X made $1.5billion in 10 working days from cryptocurrency trading. What would that do to help the Nigerian economy and opportunities for young Nigerians? So the question is should we stay safe in a financial environment that keeps our country in debt? Why is it that the richest people in the world Elon Musk, Jeff Bezo have made their entire wealth from the digital Space? Why is it that India has positioned itself for growth in the digital space? And why is it that right now with the COVID pandemic the world moved on to digital platforms? May I dare say to my fellow Nigerians we have stepped in to the 4th industrial revolution and the old style of business is becoming derelict, even in banking we are moving toward a global cashless society.
How Can Nigeria move forward as an economy and provide more opportunities for its own?
So, I still feel apprehension in many readers’ minds, so I ask you this, can anyone repeat the same behaviour that leads to failure and hope by wishful thinking that one day it will magically turn around? That’s why many problems in Nigeria are the same or worse from 1970 till date 2021. I want to encourage everyone reading this article static education can not prepare you for future economics, business and investments, plus it will always leave you in a position where you are reacting to what trend leaders have created.
What works is change, repositioning and realignment. Was Jumia visible a decade ago? Uber or Bolt? Or even electronic banking? All such Ideas were resisted as 419s and shot down.
With such a young population, my recommendation is that Nigeria floods the country with an enlightenment about cryptocurrencies so that the bad eggs are washed out because clear information is available to all, and then look towards the resilience of young Nigerians who want and need opportunities to leverage in global markets.
Please remember all Nigerians who didn’t amount to much while in the country are suddenly excelled outside these shores. I dare suggest the only difference is that most of the western world creates “Enabling Environments for Growth.”
Is the Governor of CBN wrong?
My advice to CBN and everyone involved in final decision making for cryptocurrencies is that both sides should fairly be heard, bearing in mind If this becomes successful in Nigeria, a lot of new wealth from other parts of the globe will flow into Nigeria and subsequently should be enjoyed by Nigerian families and taxed by the Nigerian government. As a cryptocurrency trader on the capital markets and trainer, all I can see is “Risk” and “Opportunity”, but only the greatly fearful flee risk; as we know right now, a plane could fall from the sky, or a stray bullet could descend or even there could be a deadly disease outbreak. But if, for fear or risk, we remain glued to the known, we will continuously shrink, and the opportunity for Nigeria to lead in a new market place could fade away.
I want to believe that the Governor of CBN has good intentions but I want him to reconsider the ban as his decision is wrong for Nigeria as a country and the prosperity of its people. Playing by the rules of the global masters who frown on cryptocurrencies in public but secretly trade and invest in it behind closed doors. Fortune favours the bold.
Enlighten us about cryptocurrency trading?
Trading cryptocurrencies is not the same as mining or owning crypto coins. Trading the capital markets creates wealth at averages between 3 to 11% daily it can swing the opposite way for losses as well. Technology-based solutions create more than 10% of California’s economy. Seven out of the ten richest people in the world are technology-related and four out of these ten have profited from cryptocurrencies. The USA, the EU, Great Britain, and many more advanced countries allow cryptocurrency trading and I stress it is 100% legal as of today.
73% of traders and Investors aged below 35 are trading cryptocurrencies in the United Kingdom with an average account growth of 11% per month. Imagine what that would do for the average Nigerian family once access to education is freely given on this important subject matter.
So you’re saying this is an opportunity for Nigeria?
Yes. There is an opportunity for a city like Lagos to be known as the Crypto hub of Africa and the Middle East; this will help rebrand the country, create new wealth that is non-reliant on the oil economy and help focus our young people on opportunities to benefit from an honest day living.
The capital markets are worth over $77 trillion. It’s open to Nigeria, in particular the crypto market, which as of today is speculated to move from $52,000 to $75,000 within the next 3 months. Yes, this is speculation but let me ask you, should our youth keep on begging and thinking of illegal activities or should we be opening up as many global opportunities as possible. It all starts with flooding Nigeria with the right information and education so people can make informed decisions about this new opportunity.