March 6, 2024

National Security: Reps move to investigate cryptocurrency, digital asset transactions

National Security: Reps move to investigate cryptocurrency, digital asset transactions

The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the national security implications of the current status of cryptocurrency, blockchain, and other digital asset transactions.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Isiaka Ibrahim (APC-Ogun) during plenary in Abuja.

Moving the motion, Isiaka said that there are growing global concerns about the national security implications of cryptocurrency transactions through cryptocurrency exchanges, including consumer and investor security.

He said these exchanges enable money laundering by criminals and terrorists for their illicit activities.

Adopting the motion, the House said it would investigate international money transfer operators, payment gateways and platforms, and cloud computing.

Others include infrastructure (networks) and all online peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace, utility sharing-based platforms, and their practices in Nigeria.

The lawmakers said the investigation would identify threats to national security and gaps in the legislative framework, statutes, and regulations to the detriment of the country.

The house said that the current status of the e-naira on the global cryptocurrency platform, the cost incurred, processes undertaken, and statutory compliance in creating the digital currency would also be investigated.

The House also resolved to engage all relevant stakeholders to initiate the necessary processes for establishing the required legislation and regulations.

The lawmakers said that the profile of operators in the sector, such as their legal status, parent company, and access to their compliance with existing statutes, should be unravelled.

The house said that their complicity in infractions against Nigeria, including money laundering, illicit transactions, currency speculation, and bad practices, would be looked into.

The House also resolved to superintend the engagement of the office of the National Security Adviser and other relevant agencies and cryptocurrency exchanges in tracking and recovering illicit and laundered funds or assets.

The lawmakers said they would ensure that equity, probity, transparency, the rule of law, and international best practices were observed by the government in investigating cryptocurrency exchanges and others.

The House referred the matter to the Committee on National Security and Intelligence to report back to the House for further deliberations. (NAN)