The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed financial institutions to close accounts of clients using their systems for cryptocurrency trading.
A cryptocurrency is a virtual or digital currency that appreciates or depreciates on the whims of market forces.
This was contained in a statement issued and signed on Friday (February 5) by the Director of banking supervision Bello Hassan and Musah Jimoh director, of payment system management at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“Further to earlier regulatory directives on the subject, the bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for a cryptocurrency exchange is prohibited,” it said.
The CBN statement added, “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 Central Bank further declared that breaches of its directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions.
This is not the first time the regulator has expressed reservations about trading in cryptocurrency.
In 2018, the apex bank issued a circular to say cryptocurrencies are not legal tenders in Nigeria.