The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks to close accounts of persons or entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions within their systems.
This is according to a circular dated 5th February 2021 distributed to deposit money banks (DMBs), non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs), and other financial institutions (OFIs).
“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.
CBN had in January 2017 said digital currencies such as bitcoin, litecoin, and others are largely used in terrorism financing and money laundering, considering the anonymity of virtual transactions.
The bank said virtual currencies are largely used in terrorism financing and money laundering, considering the anonymity of virtual transactions.