The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has prohibited commercial banks and all other financial institutions nationwide from engaging in crypto exchange services. According to the CBN, the written announcement published on the 5th of February is a reminder of earlier warnings.
In the announcement, the CBN wrote:
“Further to earlier regulatory directives on the subject, the Bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in crypto currencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.”
The Bank added that any institution that violates the directive would face “severe regulatory sanctions.”
In addition, the Central Bank has ordered commercial banks across the country to close all accounts associated with crypto exchanges. The commercial banks would also close all business accounts involved in crypto transactions.
The CBN announcement that prohibits crypto transactions in the country came at a time Nigerians are showing interest in the king coin.
Cryptocurrencies became more popular in Nigeria during the national protest against police brutality in October 2020. During the protest, the Central Bank directed banks to close the accounts of the EndSARS campaign supporters. As a result, the protest participants began Bitcoin donations, and since then, cryptocurrency has become a household name across the country.
According to data compiled by Google Trends, “cryptocurrency” is the most searched word in Nigeria at press time.
The announcement has generated several reactions from the crypto community in Nigeria, expressing their displeasure with the development.
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