Nigeria’s central bank blocks accounts of cryptocurrency holders

Nigeria’s Banks Monitor Accounts Suspected of Holding Cryptocurrency

Nigeria’s commercial banks have taken to monitoring the accounts of cryptocurrency holders. According to information shared by Leadership, a local media outlet, employees have been ordered to monitor accounts that have large transaction volumes or are linked to cryptocurrencies. An internal memo from one of Nigeria’s banks shows that controls have been stepped up recently.

“We would like to remind you that the CBN [Central Bank of Nigeria] strictly monitors non-compliance with the directive on closing all accounts involved in cryptocurrency. […] In view of the above, it is advisable for all staff to identify the entities that process or use cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems and to ensure that these accounts are closed immediately, ”the internal memo encourages.

Accounts that receive large sums of money on a daily basis or that collect a lot of money from several beneficiaries will be scrutinized by banking institutions. This is also the case for accounts that make many payments to several beneficiaries or personal accounts used for professional purposes, notes the media.

Employees who fail to report accounts involved in cryptoassets risk heavy penalties. To justify the measures put in place, the memo recycles all the clichés used to discredit the cryptocurrency sector.

“Any staff member who does not voluntarily report an account used for cryptocurrency transactions in order to allow its closure will be sanctioned in accordance with the bank’s sanctions grid. All bank staff are expected to participate in monitoring accounts, transactions and customers so that it is safe and protected against the activities of criminals, organized gangs, money launderers and individuals who finance terrorism ” , threatens the Nigerian bank, whose name remains unknown.

👉 On the same theme: this school in Nigeria accepts cryptocurrencies for the payment of tuition fees

Nigeria fears cryptocurrency will overshadow eNaira

This crackdown is due to a recent decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria, reports the Nigerian newspaper Peoples Gazette. In a new circular to banking institutions, the entity ordered banks to “identify persons and / or entities that trade or use cryptocurrency exchanges” and “ensure that these accounts are closed immediately. “. In the wake of this decision, the accounts of 2 individuals have already been blocked.

As a reminder, the Central Bank of Nigeria had already done this last February. The organization had ordered the banks to close the accounts of customers who buy and sell cryptocurrency before changing their mind. The central bank was quickly backing down.

The restrictive measures of Nigerien banks were put in place following the launch of eNaira, the country’s central bank digital currency (MNBC). The monetary authorities want to prevent cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) from slowing down the adoption of its digital currency, all of whose transactions are traceable by the government.

Same story in China. To prevent cryptocurrencies from overshadowing its digital yuan, Beijing has stepped up attacks against the sector. This year, China has repeatedly reiterated its hostile stance on cryptocurrencies before banning mining farms in its territory.

👉 On the same subject: Nigeria is targeting $ 6 billion in revenue thanks to the blockchain by 2030

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About the author: Florian Bayard

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