Navigating the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Recent Updates on Cryptocurrency Transactions
The recent updates from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have stirred curiosity, prompting the question: “Has the CBN truly lifted the ban on cryptocurrency transactions?”
Recent reports, notably from Businessday, suggest a significant shift. According to these reports, the Securities and Exchange Commission is poised to oversee cryptocurrency firms’ transactions, aligning with the CBN’s decision to ease restrictions on crypto-related bank accounts.
Developments in the Nigeria Crypto Landscape:
Bloomberg featured Yellow Card, a fintech company, preparing to launch an exchange platform for buying and selling cryptocurrency. Their immediate intention to seek a license in Nigeria follows the reported relaxation of the ban on crypto firms’ bank accounts by the CBN.
However, the situation appears nuanced. Has the CBN completely lifted the ban on Bank Accounts for Crypto Firms?
A Nuanced Perspective of Cryptocurrency in Nigeria:
The comprehensive 12-page VASPs operation guideline from the CBN introduces intricacies. While virtual asset service providers (VASPs) can open accounts with Nigerian banks, they are restricted from holding, trading, or transacting in virtual currencies through these accounts.
These VASPs operating in Nigeria must now seek regulation from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and deposit a minimum of 500 million Naira (approximately $550,000 USD) into a designated bank account. This could pose challenges for smaller market participants, according to an expert cited in Businessday.
Experts in the cryptocurrency domain share a common interpretation. They see the guideline not as a complete lifting of the ban but as a shift in the CBN’s stance toward the sector.
In conclusion, has the CBN fully lifted the ban on cryptocurrency firms’ transactions in Nigeria?
Yes, and Maybe Not Entirely:
The CBN’s guideline acknowledges these entities as VASPs, allowing them to open financial accounts. However, their operations require SEC oversight, demanding registration and licensing.
For detailed insights, refer to the 12-page CBN Guideline titled: “GUIDELINES ON OPERATIONS OF BANK ACCOUNTS FOR VIRTUAL ASSETS SERVICE PROVIDERS (VASPs).”