Trading with Bitcoin has gained traction globally and in Nigeria lately; and most young people have been investing in the cryptocurrency world, buying and selling bitcoin and altcoins making profit for themselves.
But the apex bank is clearly not a fan of crypto currencies.
In a statement signed by Bello Hassan, Director of Banking Supervision; and Musa Jimoh, Director of Payments System Management Department, the CBN said:
"Further to earlier regulatory directives on the subject, the bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in crypto currencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchange is prohibited.”
Cryptocurrencies have rose in popularity since Altcoins and Bitcoin, the most valuable Crypto which is Bitcoin rose up outstanding four years ago. The coin went from $900 in January 2017 to almost $20,000 by the end of that year.
In countries where the official fiat currency is less reliable, cryptocurrencies have became very popular: cue and its ever-weakening naira.
The idea of Crypto currencies that central banks have no control over were seen as a threat to conducting monetary policy.
After all this, the CBN made several warnings in 2017 about the use of cryptocurrencies. They released a article
saying that the likes of Bitcoin, Litecoin,Ripple and other Altcoins technology use were not legitimate tender.
The CBN said that these cryptos were mostly used for terrorism and money laundering activities which was a lie. A year later, in 2018, they “warned” Nigerians again that we would not be able to get legal help if the cryptocurrency bubble burst.
Last year, estimates from a company named BuyCoins showed that total volumes of Crypto Currencies traded in Nigeria stood at $200 million per month. That’s more than what was traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange ($131 million) in Q2’2020.
Fast forward to today, four months later, and the CBN is doing something almost opposite to the SEC’s progress. While one regulator was working on laws to regulate crypto assets, the other (CBN) is going in the other direction.