CBN orders closure of cryptocurrency bank accounts

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed the closure of bank accounts of persons or entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions.

The apex bank issued the order on Friday in a circular to deposit money banks (DMBs), non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs), and other financial institutions (OFIs).

“Further to earlier regulatory directives on the subject, the bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited,” the circular signed by Bello Hassan, director for banking supervision, and Musa Jimoh, director of the payment system management department, read.

“Accordingly, all DMBs, NBFIs and OFIs are directed to identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.”

The CBN had in the past raised alarm over digital currencies such as bitcoin, litecoin, and others, saying they are largely used in terrorism financing and money laundering, considering the anonymity of virtual transactions.

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