The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) dropped a bomb on the country’s growing cryptocurrency community last week with its order to the banks and other financial institutions to ban crypto exchange accounts.
The order stated that all regulated financial institutions should ‘identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchange’ and close their accounts ‘immediately.’
Though the order did not put an outright right ban on cryptocurrencies, it is enough to kill the locally grown demand for Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
The order was similar to what we have seen in India after which the exchanges struggled to receive any banking support and many shuttered. The situation changed in the sub-continent last year after the apex court overturned the order.
One of the Top Crypto Trading Countries
Nigeria is one of the top countries in terms of crypto demand, not only in Africa but also globally. According to market data compiled by Coin Dance, 60,215 Bitcoins were traded in Nigeria in the last five years, which is only behind the US.
Now, a banking ban of such kind could kill the market. In fact, the impact can be seen with the suspension of fiat deposits by Binance Nigeria and the local electronic payment, Bundle.
The confused Nigerian crypto traders took to social media to post their grievances and condemn the central bank’s order. They are now running campaigns like #WeWantOurCryptoBack.
CBN quoting Warren Buffet as an authority for their crypto policy , dude’s not even on twitter.. won’t be surprised to see his face on the new 10000 naira note, @elonmusk would be disappointed #Crypto #TheCBN #emefiele #WeWantOurCryptoBack
— Donnie (@DonaldAbuah) February 8, 2021