The governor of Nigeria’s central bank, Godwin Emefiele, who earlier banned banks from servicing cryptocurrency exchanges, has reportedly clarified the bank’s position on the utilization of cryptocurrencies within the country.
In line with the native reporting media outlet TodayNG, the central bank of Nigeria, or CBN, deputy governor Adamu Lamtek outlined on behalf of Emefiele that the bank had not banned Nigerian residents from purchasing, trading, or selling crypto assets, but “[secured] the banking sector from the activities of crypto assets.” Lamtek spoke at a seminar for the Finance Correspondents and Business Editors within the capital, Abuja.
“The CBN didn’t place restrictions from the use of crypto assets and that we aren’t discouraging people from trading in it,” added Emefiele. “What we’ve just done was to ban transactions on crypto assets within the banking sector.”
The statement follows the CBN announcing last month within a circular that it had placed a ban on all regulated financial institutions from offering services to cryptocurrency exchanges within the country. The ban directed all commercial banks to shut accounts associated with digital exchanges and other businesses transacting in crypto assets in Nigeria, warning of “severe regulatory sanctions” for any institution in breach of the rule. Some account holders at Nigeria’s Access Bank have already reported their accounts are closed.
Emefiele previously mentioned crypto-assets as “not legitimate money” with no place in Nigeria’s medium of exchange. The governor said at the time the central bank was doing its due diligence to raised understand the implications of the emerging ecosystem.
Moreover, many regulators & cryptocurrency enthusiasts in Nigeria have criticized the ban. Some lawmakers within the Nigerian Senate have proposed inviting the CBN governor & leading cryptocurrency stakeholders to a hearing to debate issues associated with crypto regulations within the country.
Since the CBN introduced the cryptocurrency ban, the worth of Bitcoin [BTC] has been trading at a premium within the country. Valued at $57,349 USD within the U.S., data from crypto exchange Luno presently reveal BTC has risen to a over 70% premium in Nigeria at a price of $97,509 USD.