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CBN orders banks to close accounts dealing with cryptocurrency

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks to close accounts of persons or entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions within their systems.

This is according to a circular signed by Bello Hassan, director for banking supervision, and Musa Jimoh, director of the payment system management department dated 5th February 2021 distributed to deposit money banks (DMBs), non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs), and other financial institutions (OFIs).

The circular reads: “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 exchange 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.”

The CBN also declared that breaches of its directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions.

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