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CBN Orders Banks, Others To Close Cryptocurrency Accounts

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday directed deposit money banks (DMBs), Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) and Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) to immediately close cryptocurrency exchange bank accounts.

The apex bank, in a letter dated February 5,2021, titled ‘Letter To All Deposit Money Banks, Non-Bank Financial Institutions And Other Financial Institutions’ and signed by its Director of Banking Supervision, Bello Hassan and his Payment Systems Management Department, Musa Jimoh, recalled its earlier observation through a letter, which cautioned members of the public on the risks associated with cryptocurrency transactions and the need for them to discontinue such transactions.

The letter stated: “The Central of Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) circular of January 12, 2017 ref FPR/DIR/GEN/C1R,06/010 which cautioned Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs), Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) and members of the pubic on the risk associated with transactions In crypto currency refers.

“Further to earlier regulatory directives on the subject, the Bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in crypto currencies 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 crypto currency exchanges within tier systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately. Please note that breaches of this directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions.

“This letter is with immediate effect”, the CBN stressed.

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