Central Bank of Nigeria says Nigerians are free to trade in crypto

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TL;DR Breakdown

  • Adamu Lamtek, a senior CBN executive, says that the CBN did not ban crypto trading.
  • Peer to peer trading is beyond the government’s reach, says Adedayo, MD at Jelurida Africa.
  • The MD says the latest clarification could be “a way forward.”

On the 5th of February, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced a ban on all crypto transactions in the country. However, a recent statement from Adamu Lamtek, a top official at CBN, seems to contradict the central bank’s direct ban on cryptocurrencies.

Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive is to banks

Since the ban, crypto activities have declined on centralized exchanges. However, reports show a surge in trading volume on P2P networks. According to some allegations, the Central Bank of Nigeria might restrict P2P trading as well. However, Lamtek commented in a recent interview that the crypto ban does not at all cover crypto trading.

He emphasized that the CBN ban order was directed at banks alone and not crypto traders. The CBN cautioned banks to cut their involvement with crypto transactions in February. However, the central bank’s directive has negatively impacted startups and the crypto industry of the country.

Central Bank of Nigeria working towards crypto regulation

Adedayo Adedajo, the MD at Jelurida Africa DLT, said that industry leaders were in support of regulation than a ban. He noted that crypto trading is beyond the central bank’s reach as traders have moved to P2P platforms. However, he believes that the latest elucidation by the CBN could be a way forward to the wider adoption of cryptocurrency in Nigeria.

Also, about a month ago, the Nigerian SEC admitted that the crypto market is too large to be ignored. That same period, the Nigerian SEC and the CBN revealed that they will be working together to regulate cryptocurrency. This could be a positive indication that the Nigerian government may later lift the ban.

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