Central Bank of Nigeria Never Banned Cryptocurrency Trading, Clarifies Governor
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said they never banned the use of cryptocurrencies in the country, and they are not discouraging people from trading with crypto assets either.
The clarification came from Godwin Emefiele, deputy governor Adamu Lamtek, on behalf of Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the central bank, at the 30th seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors organized by the bank.
According to him, the bank wants to remind the banking sector and protect it from crypto activities.
Last month, the CBN issued an order that directed financial institutions to shut down all accounts associated with crypto trading. “Dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited,” said CBN at the time. It further told institutions to “identify persons and/or entities” transacting with cryptos or operating crypto exchanges.
This led the Bitcoin users and proponents to voice their objection to the bank’s order on social media.
“Cryptocurrency has become a worldwide transaction of which you cannot even identify who owns what. The technology is so strong that I don’t see the kind of regulation that we can do. Bitcoin has made our currency almost useless or valueless." – Senator Sani Musa
— The Nigerian Senate (@NGRSenate) February 11, 2021
In response, the bank issued a five-page statement clarifying that the letter was only a reminder that cryptocurrencies were not legal tender in Nigeria, reiterating a position the bank has held since 2017 and nothing new.
It further said that the central bank would continue to educate Nigerians to “desist from its use and protect our financial system from activities of fraudsters and speculators.”