The former senator representing Bayelsa east, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce and other Nigerians have reacted to the purported ban of cryptocurrency trading by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In a circular dated 5th February 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria notified Deposit Money Banks, Non-Financial Institutions, other financial institutions against doing business in Crypto and other digital assets.
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The apex bank also directed financial institutions to close the accounts of persons or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges.
The Apex bank further warned the Nigerian Financial Stakeholders that any breach of this directive will attract serious regulatory sanctions.
“The Central of Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) circular of January 12, 2017 ref FPR1DIR/GEN/C1R106/010 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 cryptocurrency refers.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Please note that breaches of this directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions. This letter is with immediate effect.”
However, many Nigerian’s including the former lawmaker condemned the move saying it was ill-informed.
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
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
Welcome to a country where our government Bans Crypto and Pardon Terrorists
— Roviel 😏 (@ObongRoviel) 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
It would be recalled that the CBN had in 2018 declared that cryptocurrencies are not a legal tender in Nigeria.
The apex bank said in the circular that “cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, etc and Exchanges such as NairaEx are not licensed or regulated by the CBN.”