The Nigerian Government Intensifies Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Trading

The Nigerian Government Intensifies Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Trading

Recent reports have indicated that Nigerian authorities are stepping up their efforts to crack down on cryptocurrency trading, specifically targeting peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms such as OKX, Binance, KuCoin, and Bybit. A circulating document shared on social media platform X highlighted the government’s plans to take action against these exchanges. While the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has denied any involvement in the issuance of the circular, labeling it as “fake content,” the move has sparked concerns among crypto traders and investors in the region.

According to information outlined in the trending circular, the CBN directed financial institutions in the country to identify individuals or entities engaged in transactions with the aforementioned exchanges. Moreover, the bank instructed banks to implement a six-month Post No Debit (PND) instruction on the accounts of these individuals or entities. The CBN justified its actions by stating that the platforms in question are not licensed to operate in Nigeria and are currently under investigation. It warned of severe regulatory sanctions for those who fail to comply with the directive and cautioned against engaging in unauthorized trading of USDT, threatening arrests for offenders.

Ola Olukayode, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC), highlighted the impact of transactions on P2P platforms like KuCoin on Nigeria’s foreign exchange challenges. The EFFC disclosed that it had frozen approximately 300 suspected illegal forex accounts linked to P2P trading activities. Notably, one of these platforms reportedly processed over $15 billion in transactions over the past year, further underscoring the scale of cryptocurrency trading in the country.

The Nigerian government’s stringent approach towards cryptocurrencies is rooted in its efforts to stabilize the foreign exchange market and address economic concerns. Initially attributing the depreciation of the Nigerian Naira against the US Dollar to speculative activities on Binance, authorities have intensified their scrutiny of the exchange. Binance and two of its executives are currently facing charges of tax evasion and money laundering, although the exchange has denied allegations and expressed cooperation with the investigation.

The escalating crackdown on cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria reflects a broader trend of regulatory tightening in the global crypto landscape. As authorities in the country seek to maintain control over financial transactions and address economic challenges, crypto market participants are left grappling with uncertainty and heightened enforcement measures.

Regulation

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