Nigeria’s Central Bank has told banks and other financial institutions in the country to close all cryptocurrency-related accounts.
Last week the bank in a statement said all financial institutions were prohibited from facilitating crypto currency payments.
“Further to earlier regulatory directives on the subject, the Bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency is prohibited,” the statement said.
According to the Central Bank of Nigeria financial institutions are to identify persons and entities transacting in, or, operating crypto currency exchanges and go ahead to close such accounts immediately.
The bank said “breaches of this directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions. This letter is with immediate effect.”
One of the institutions dealing in crypto currency reacted to the news saying ““We are fully aware of the newest CBN circular and are going to be working with regulators to ensure our services are compliant. All trading on our platforms continues as usual, and all user funds are safe.”
Thanks to everyone who has reached out. We are fully aware of the newest CBN circular and are going to be working with regulators to ensure our services are compliant. All trading on our platforms continues as usual, and all user funds are safe.
— BuyCoins (@buycoins_africa) February 5, 2021
Meanwhile Changpeng Zhao, CEO of crypto exchange Binance has announced that customers should “withdraw your NGN as early as possible to avoid potential channel issues. Will share more details as they become available.”
Received notice from our channel partners that NGN deposits and withdrawals will be affected. Still confirming details on when/how. Please withdraw your NGN as early as possible to avoid potential channel issues. Will share more details as they become available. ??? https://t.co/Nr2ba4lfwI
— CZ ? Binance (@cz_binance) February 5, 2021
Nigeria is the second largest bitcoin market in the world after the United States.
The latest crackdown on cryptocurrency could undo the gains made in Nigeria, a country that has seen growth in virtual currency for the past five years.
Not many Nigerians are happy with the latest directive from the central bank and have been reacting on social media.
If the ban on crypto by CBN is true ehn, it points yet again to the ill informed, backward, poverty promoting dinosaurs ? leading us. Use your time ? to investigate and close accounts sponsoring terrorists in the country if you don’t know what to do!!! GAWD ?????#endsars ?????
— Dj Switch (@dj_switchaholic) February 5, 2021
How can you ban crypto transactions in 2021 !! A currency that’s growing our economy little by little.People are making money legitimately.Doubling their money and taking care of their families with it!They just want us to suffer! Our government hates progress!! It’s saddening?
— Oyindamola? (@dammiedammie35) February 5, 2021