Nigeria’s central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, has reportedly clarified the bank’s position on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. Which had previously prohibited banks from servicing crypto exchanges.
According to local news outlet TodayNG, CBN deputy governor Adamu Lamtek said on behalf of Emefiele. That the bank had not banned Nigerian residents from buying, trading, or selling cryptocurrency. But had “[protected] the banking sector from cryptocurrencies’ activities.” Lamtek spoke at a seminar in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors.
“The CBN did not place restrictions from use of cryptocurrencies. And we are not discouraging people from trading in it,” said Emefiele. “What we have just done was to prohibit transactions on cryptocurrencies in the banking sector.”
The announcement comes after the CBN issued a circular last month prohibiting. All regulated financial institutions from providing services to crypto exchanges in the country. The ban ordered all commercial banks in Nigeria to close accounts belonging to cryptocurrency exchanges. And other businesses that transact in cryptocurrencies, threatening “severe regulatory sanctions” for any institution that violated the rule. Some Access Bank account holders have already reported that their accounts have been closed.
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Cryptocurrencies, according to Emefiele, are “not legitimate money” and have no place in Nigeria’s monetary system. At the time, the governor stated that the central bank was conducting due diligence. In order to better understand the implications of the emerging space.
However, the ban criticized by many Nigerian regulators and crypto enthusiasts. Some Nigerian senators have proposed holding a hearing with the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other major crypto stakeholders to discuss issues surrounding the country’s crypto regulations.
The price of Bitcoin (BTC) has been trading at a premium in the country since the CBN imposed the crypto ban. BTC, which is currently value at $57,349 in the United States, has risen to a price of $97,509 in Nigeria. According to data from crypto exchange Luno.