Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the apex monetary authority of Nigeria established by the CBN Act of 1958 and commenced operations on July 1, 1959, has said its 2017 prohibition on cryptocurrency activities and exchanges remains unchanged. The monetary authority said in a letter addressed to deposit money banks, non-bank financial institutions; other financial institutions, and members of the public, the bank said dealing in cryptocurrencies and facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.
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. This was confirmed by Osita Nwanisobi, the CBN spokesman.
According to the letter, signed by Bello Hassan, director of banking supervision, and Musa Jimoh, director, payments system of management department, the apex bank directed all DMBs, NBFIs and OFIs to identify persons and entities transacting in, or, operating cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems to close such accounts immediately.
In the letter, the CBN referenced a circular it issued on 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 cryptocurrency.
Further to earlier regulatory directives on the subject, the Bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for the cryptocurrency is prohibited,
the statement reads.
Please note that breaches of this directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions. This letter is with immediate effect. the bank concluded in the letter circulating the internet. Obviously many Nigerian aren’t comfortable with this news.
With this new regulation, we expect mixed responses from the financial institutions and the general public. We will keep you updated as events unfold.
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