On Friday 5th February, CBN directed a close to all cryptocurrency-related accounts in the country. Their reminded regulated banking institutions that “dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.” Also, banks should identify persons or entities transacting crypto and ensure the immediate close of such accounts. According to the letter Bello Hassan, Director of Banking Supervision signed.
On Sunday 7th February, CBN clarified its position with cryptocurrency with its five-page statement after warning to local banks on Friday reminding that cryptocurrencies were not legal tender in Nigeria and was reiterating a position the bank has held since 2017.
Due to the stand which CBN took, Nigerian crypto users took to Twitter and other social media platforms to express their displeasure.
Osita Nwanisobi, Ag. director of Corporate Communications signed a press statement which lists other countries that have banned its banks from dealing in cryptocurrencies and makes the claim that in China, “cryptocurrencies are completely banned and all exchanges closed as well.”
CBN’s full statement below: