Cryptocurrency crimes in African countries have also seen a rise along with the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed commercial banks in the country to close accounts connected to two entities accused of trading crypto. According to the local Nigerian media outlet Peoples Gazette report, the order was contained in a Post-No-Debit Circular issued on November 3.
Central Bank of Nigeria ordered to freeze three bank accounts.
The circular signed by J. Y. Mammanand, director of banking supervision at the CBN, called for the immediate closure of the accounts belonging to one company TVS Hallmark Service Limited, and two individuals, Nwaorgu Kingsley Chibuzor and Nnamdi Francis Okereke. The central bank’s memo also instructed that the funds held by the indicted entities should be placed in “suspense accounts.” Several fintech firms have also suffered a similar fate recently, although that action was due to the companies allegedly offering unlicensed asset management services.
Nigeria has banned financial institutions from providing services to crypto trading platforms.
Nigeria’s central bank banned financial institutions from providing services to crypto trading platforms in February this year. As part of the order, the central bank instructed commercial banks to identify and shut down accounts tied to cryptocurrency trading activities. The CBN has clarified that cryptocurrency is not banned in Nigeria. According to the central bank, the banking prohibition was to prevent the use of the country’s financial apparatus to support crypto transactions. After the ban on financial institutions from providing services to crypto firms, peer-to-peer transactions reportedly account for the bulk of the country’s crypto trading activity. Cheaper remittance costs and currency devaluation continue to drive crypto adoption in Nigeria despite the CBN ban. Nigeria also launched its CBDC this year.