Nigeria's Stance on Crypto Trading Creates Controversy

Nigeria's Stance on Crypto Trading Creates Controversy

By: Isha Das

Amidst increasing speculation, Nigerian authorities are reportedly preparing for a crackdown on crypto-trading, focusing especially on peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms. High on their radar are popular exchanges like OKX, Binance, KuCoin, and Bybit. However, contradicting circulars trending on social media have added to the confusion. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) denies claims of such a crackdown, marking the news as 'fake content'. This discordance is not unheard of considering the political backdrop of the region.

According to the controversial memo, the CBN suggests that financial institutions must identify any individuals or entities dealing with these unlicensed platforms and suspend any debits from their accounts for a six-month period. Severe sanctions are threatened for anyone who breaches this directive. Moreover, crypto traders who are unlawfully involved with USDT (Tether) are warned of impending arrests.

The CBN allegedly ordered regulated financial bodies to abstain from dealing with cryptocurrencies or assisting in payments for crypto exchanges. This statement was clarified by a business journalist who stated that only entities regulated by the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the crypto market were permitted to liaise with banks.

This news comes amidst reports that about 300 accounts associated with illegal foreign exchange trading on P2P platforms were frozen. It has been suggested that $15 billion passed through one of these platforms in the past year. In light of this, it seems the Nigerian government is adopting a hardline approach to crypto in order to stabilize the foreign exchange market.

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