A Central Bank circular, signed by the Director of Banking Supervision, Bello Hassan, has ordered banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria to identify persons and entities operating cryptocurrency exchanges and close all such accounts.
The apex bank stated that dealing with cryptocurrencies and facilitating payments through them are illegal in the country.
The circular read, “The Central Bank of Nigeria circular of January 12, 2017 ref FPR/DIR/GEN/CIR/06/010 which cautioned the Deposit Money Banks, non-bank financial institutions, other financial institutions and members of the public 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 with 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.
“The letter takes immediate effect.”