Last Friday afternoon, Nigeria’s central bank dropped a five-page press release
that called for banks and other financial institutions to close the accounts of cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. In the circular, the CBN denounced digital currencies as, “a method of encrypting and hiding codes that prevent oversight, accountability, and regulation.”
In short, all financial institutions are required, by law, to close any accounts transacting or operating on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Nigerian Twitter, especially the crypto and fintech companies, went into meltdown, which sparked immediate action by some of the main players to mitigate any fallout and consumer concerns. Bamboo, Luno, Flutterwave, Trove and others rushed to communicate next steps with their customers - bringing transparency and clear lines of communication amidst the fallout.
Read: Access Bank, GTBank begin closing customer accounts that have traded cryptocurrency
Whilst the timing of the assault on Nigeria’s crypto community was a surprise for all, the fact that Nigeria is the second-largest bitcoin market in the world
and that the CBN hasn’t fully grasped the scope, opportunity, or regulatory requirements needed for the cryptocurrency, the move itself to essentially ban it, isn’t so surprising. And as necessity is the birth of invention, within five days of the CBN’s edict, Binance
announced that it has launched a Peer to Peer market for Nigerian crypto traders while Buycoins
also announced that deposts and withdrawals were available again for customers.
Read: Mastercard will let merchants accept payments in crypto this year