NFL star Russell Okung writes open letter urging the Nigerian government to adopt Bitcoin standard

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NFL star Russell Okung writes open letter urging the Nigerian government to adopt Bitcoin standard

NFL star and crypto lover Russell Okung has penned an open letter to the Nigerian government urging them to consider their stance on Bitcoin. Okung, an American citizen of Nigerian descent, published the letter on Sunday, June 13 in Bitcoin magazine.

An Open Letter for Bitcoin adoption in Nigeria

He started by stating that the current global economic environment was worrisome and unsustainable post-covid. Okung also highlighted that the Nigerian economy was still controlled by global central bankers who do not represent the nation’s best interest. 

The NFL star believes that Nigeria can rise to global greatness by adopting bitcoins within its economic system. He also cited the examples of countries that have participated in mining bitcoin or creating a bitcoin-friendly environment. 

“Nations such as Iran, Russia, China and Kenya have been reportedly mining or otherwise utilizing bitcoin, often as a means to circumvent U.S. sanctions which prevent them from full participation in the global financial system. Other nations like Barbados, Singapore and Malta have moved to become “bitcoin friendly” in an effort to attract wealth and human capital through migration,” 

Okung believes that one of the strengths of Bitcoin is its decentralized nature which means that the Nigerian government would not require any license or permission from any corporation to utilize the digital asset. He also wants the government to follow the lead of other Latin American countries like El Salvador that have already leveraged the potentials of Bitcoin for their economies. 

Okung parted with a note of warning to the Nigerian government, hinting that failure to pursue a national plan for bitcoin adoption could see the African nation left behind in the new financial revolution. He also stated that the Bitcoin community was ready to support the country in offering consultation and resources to make Nigeria a bitcoin-loving country. 

Read also- Central Bank of Nigeria Bans All Cryptocurrency Transactions In Nigeria

Cryptocurrency still banned in Nigeria

Despite holding the largest bitcoin market position in Africa, transacting bitcoins and crypto-assets is banned in Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a circular in February prohibiting banks and other financial institutions from providing services for crypto exchanges. 

It also mandated financial institutions within the country to close accounts of customers that had performed crypto-related transactions in the past. The decision caused outrage, with the nation’s Vice President Yomi Osinbajo urging restraints from the financial regulator. 

Four months on, the crypto legal framework in the country remains unclear, and citizens are still unable to access crypto directly from exchanges using their localized (Naira) debit cards. The open letter of Russell is a powerful statement, and it remains to be seen if the Nigerian government would be ready to act on the recommendations.