The digital and tech industry of Nigeria woke up to what could be better termed ‘nightmare at dawn’ in the early hours of Friday 5 February 2021 following the letter from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to all deposit money banks, non-bank financial institutions, and other financial institutions in which the CBN referred them to the CBN circular of 12 January 2017 wherein the CBN cautioned all deposit money banks (DMB), non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs), other financial institutions (OFIs) and members of the public on the risk associated with transactions in cryptocurrency.
In the letter, the CBN further to the directive on the circular, called the attention of regulated institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies and facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited in Nigeria. Flowing from the above, CBN directed regulated institutions listed above to identify persons and or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchange within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.
News of the CBN’s decision to prohibit banks from facilitating crypto-related transactions through the banking system has since gotten very harsh reactions on social media, the tech and digital market with many condemning the policy as a deliberate attempt by the government to
impoverish young Nigerians who have been able to create wealth for themselves through crypto trading.

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