The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered accounts of certain individuals purportedly trading in cryptocurrency be frozen in the local commercial banks where they are domiciled.
The order was contained in a ‘Post-No-Debit circular signed November 3, 2021 by the CBN Director of Banking Supervision, J. Y. Mamman, and addressed to the banks,’ Peoples Gazette is reporting.
Accounts placed on ‘post-no-debit’ cannot carry out debit transactions, including ATMs and cheques all of which have been blocked. But they can still receive inflows.
“You are hereby directed to close accounts of the under-listed bank customers and place the funds in the accounts in suspense accounts for engaging in cryptocurrency trading in contravention of CBN Circular BSD/DIR/PUB/014/001 dated February 5, 2021.”
Accounts belonging to two individuals and a private company were among those listed for ‘Post-No-Debit’.
Cryptocurrencies still banned in many countries
Trading in cryptocurrencies is still banned in Nigeria. Last February in a memo, the CBN directed financial institutions including banks to close all customer accounts associated with cryptos.
Even though the CBN launched the eNaira last month to begin Nigeria’s digital currency journey, it has not shifted grounds on crypto trading – a digital currency not so amenable to regulations. The eNaira is a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) but insulated from the high volatility associated with speculative bets of all cryptocurrencies.
Cryptos whether Bitcoin and other virtual monies are banned in China and a number of countries including Bolivia, Indonesia, Turkey, and Egypt. In countries where crypto are banned, all banks and other financial institutions are prohibited from transacting or dealing in accounts associated with virtual currencies.