ALP Seminar 2019

Crypto-Currency is a Bad Tool for Illicit Use but there is a Misconception That It’s Mostly Used by Criminals

Owenize Odia, Country-Manager-Luno-Nigeria

There’s often a public misconception that cryptocurrencies are mostly used by criminals, but nothing could be further from the truth, as an expert has debunked this untruth.

Expert in the cryptocurrency world, Owen Odia, Country Manager of Luno, explained that the public believed that they think cryptocurrencies are anonymous. But she said, “all transactions are transparent for the whole world to see”.

She added that “People might not be able to link the identity to cryptocurrency right away (that is also why it is sometimes called ‘pseudo-anonymous’), but once they do, they can track everything you’ve ever done on the network. This makes it a particularly bad tool for illicit use. Luno as an exchange is self-regulated and we always endeavour to take adequate and necessary information on all our customers.”

The lack of guidance is not peculiar to Nigeria. It is the same position most governments around the world have adopted. This stance is hinged upon the fact that cryptocurrency is a new technology which is somewhat complex.

“They are still trying to understand how it works and how to use it. The good news is that the government is interested in the space and that is why a committee was set up to understudy cryptocurrency. We expect them to come up with a position very soon. Luno is proactively reaching out to regulators to provide guidance in any way possible as experts in the crypto world.

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“We are also collaborating with other stakeholders to come up with a framework that will guide every player in the cryptocurrency market. We believe most of the innovation in the sector will come from where crypto companies, financial institutions and regulators work together. We welcome participation by or collaboration with the banks and other financial institutions. It’s about working with them rather than against them,” she informed.

According to her, the banks are likely to provide access to crypto as an investment class only while it will have limited usability to user experience. “This will greatly enhance the trust in and demand for crypto and it will definitely have a hugely positive knock-on impact for the industry”, she said.