The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs), Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), to identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating crypto currency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.
This was contained in a circular dated February 5, 2021, seen by MoneyCentral.
The CBN said it had in an earlier circular to banks with ref: FPR/DIR/GEN/CIR/06/010, on January 12, 2017, warned about the risks associated with transactions in crypto currency.
“Further to 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 CBN said.
“Please note that the breaches of this directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions.”
The CBN joins a growing list of global central banks like the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that have banned the trading of crypto currencies like Bitcoin.
The surge in the crypto asset is helping Nigerian Bitcoin investors dodge Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele’s Opaque Foreign Exchange (FX) regime, sidestep inflation, as well as laugh all the way to the bank as Bitcoin rose by almost 300 percent last year.