CBN ban Nigerians from trading in cryptocurrencies

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ban Nigerians from trading in cryptocurrency. The Apex bank directed commercials banks to close accounts of persons or entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions within their systems.

This directive is contained in a letter addressed to all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs)and other financial institutions (OFIs) on Friday prohibited all financial institutions from facilitating crypto currency payments in the country.

In the letter, the CBN referenced a circular it issued in January 12,2017 ref FPR/DIR/GEN/CIR/06/010 which cautioned Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs)and other financial institutions (OFIs) as well as members of the public on the risk associated with transactions of crypto currency.

“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 exchanges is prohibited,” the circular signed by Bello Hassan, director for banking supervision, and Musa Jimoh, director of the payment system management department, read.

“Accordingly, all DMBs, NBFIs and OFIs are directed to identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.”

The apex bank warned local financial institutions against having any transactions in crypto or facilitating payments for crypto exchanges.

The bank said virtual currencies are largely used in terrorism financing and money laundering, considering the anonymity of virtual transactions.

“The attention of bank and other financial institutions is hereby drawn to the above risks and you are required to take the following actions pending substantive regulation or decision by the CBN,” CBN said in an earlier statement.

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“Ensure that you do not use, hold, trade and/or transact in any way in virtual currencies. Ensure that existing customers that are virtual currency exchangers have effective capital AML/CFT controls that enable them to comply with customer identification, verification and transfer, monitoring requirements.

Also, in February 2018, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said people who invest in cryptocurrencies do so at their own risk because they are not protected by the law.