Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive ordering banks and other financial institutions to close customer accounts used in trading cryptocurrencies and other related transactions has been greeted with harsh criticism from many Nigerians.
The apex bank’s directive was stated in a letter dated February 5 which was signed by Bello Hassan, Director of Banking Supervision and Musa I. Jimoh, Director of Payments System Management Department.
The statement reads;
LETTER TO ALL DEPOSIT MONEY BANKS, NON-BANK FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
The Central of Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) circular of January 12, 2017 ref FPR/DIR/GEN/CIR/06/010 which cautioned Deposit Money Banks (DMBs). Non Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs), Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) and members of the pubic on the risk associated with transactions in crypto currency refers.
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.
Accordingly, all DMBS, NBFCS and Ofis are directed to identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating crypto currency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.
Please note that breaches of this directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions. This letter is with immediate effect.
Three years ago, CBN gave a similar directive, where it declared that it would not licence cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, amongst others.
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The apex bank warned local financial institutions against having any transactions in crypto or facilitating payments for crypto exchanges.
The new directive by CBN comes amid the soaring of trading in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as global economy becomes increasingly volatile.
Many Nigerians have since jumped on this opportunity and started utilising crypto transactions to avoid the numerous challenges faced with traditional money transfer services.
The directive by the country’s bank regulator has however sparked an outrage from many Nigerians especially youths.
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Many condemned the Federal Government and CBN, alleging that its an attempt to shut down the source of livelihood for many youths and to further destroy the dwindling economy.
See some reactions from Twitter users below;
I thought it’s universal knowledge that decisions or policy regarding finance or economy should never be hasty? #crypto
— Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce) February 5, 2021
“Crypto is the future of finance”
Nigerian government : pic.twitter.com/VUFcyZMrPa
— Ola Elixir (@thegreatola) February 5, 2021
You can find a way to tax it
You can find a way to regulate it
Don't stop BANKS from letting us buy and withdraw crypto !!!! #WeWantOurCryptoBack
— Dehkunle of Africa 💧🐐 (@Dehkunle) February 5, 2021
The rest of the world is moving forward with Crypto but Buhari and CBN coming together to move us backwards by banning Bitcoin transactions #bringbackourcrypto
— Bayo (@mr_adebayo5) February 5, 2021
How can you ban crypto transactions in 2021 !! A currency that’s growing our economy little by little.People are making money legitimately.Doubling their money and taking care of their families with it!They just want us to suffer! Our government hates progress!! It’s saddening💔
— Oyindamola🙄 (@dammiedammie35) February 5, 2021
Nigerian youths will discover a way around this insane CBN directive against bitcoin and crypto.
They are not short of ideas to re-model "Placement and Layering" legitimately.
— Ayemojubar (@ayemojubar) February 5, 2021
You can stop platforms from using the banking system for crypto transactions.
But do you know what's called Peer to Peer?
Do you know what's called DeFi, decentralized finance.
You can remain backward but you would not drag us back.
— Tosin Olugbenga (@TosinOlugbenga) February 5, 2021
Buhari wants you to go back to farm or collect 10K tradermoni/N-power alert. That is the only right way of getting rich in this country.
Anyone getting rich through Crypto, Forex, fintech or any modern business innovation is getting rich the wrong way. Buhari is coming for you
— Kelvin Odense (Not Odanz) (@MrOdanz) February 5, 2021
Crypto has helped reduce the rate at which graduates and Undergraduate search for Jobs
Everyone is digital now since we have a handicap government
They hate seeing Nigerians happy
— Roviel 😏 (@ObongRoviel) February 5, 2021
If the ban on crypto by CBN is true ehn, it points yet again to the ill informed, backward, poverty promoting dinosaurs 🦖 leading us. Use your time ⌚ to investigate and close accounts sponsoring terrorists in the country if you don't know what to do!!! GAWD 🤦🏾♂️#endsars 🚶🏾♂️
— Dj Switch (@dj_switchaholic) February 5, 2021
Omoh, 2 years now Crypto have been everything, paid my final year school fees, paid my rent, did my school project, got a good Android phone, all because of trading cryptocurrencies. Nigeria don't like anything giving us hope to keep living. #WeWantOurCryptoBack
— I AM CODED ♥️ + 💡 (@CodedUpdate) February 5, 2021
The CBN Governor / the powers that be are daft.
They’re banning crypto because they’ve not found a way to benefit from it yet.
If they had, trust me they won’t ban it.
— Peng Man ⚡️ (@pengmanmodel) February 5, 2021
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