TL; DR Breakdown
- Man arrested for crypto trading in Nigeria.
- Crypto ban has not stopped Nigerians from crypto trading.
- Lawyer says crypto ban has been inactive.
Beyond placing a ban on cryptocurrencies in the country, authorities in Nigeria have begun taking action against Nigerians in defiance of the ban. Allegedly, some bank account of crypto holders were frozen on the order of the Central Bank of Nigeria for crypto trading.
Most recently, local report in Nigeria reveals that Adebayo Sulaimon was picked by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), where he was detained for hours before paying bail of 120,000 naira ($290) to secure his release. He was arrested for crypto trading, an act which he still returned to after his release.
How Sulaimon was picked for crypto trading
Adebayo Sulaimon was getting ready for the day when Nigerian police officers raided the 23-year-old graduate’s compound in the southwestern town of Ilorin to arrest him and his roommate.
Sulaimon’s crime, police told him as they took him away from that October morning, was trading cryptocurrency, something he had started doing a month before the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stepped up its efforts to ban the practice in February.
After spending five hours at a local police station and paying bail of 120,000 naira ($290), Sulaimon and his roommate were released — then went straight back to buying and selling digital currency.
“There were no jobs, nothing to do. We had to look for ways to eat. I trade cryptocurrency, and I use it to survive, not as a side hustle,” he said.
Crypto ban fails in Nigeria
Although the ban was about stopping banks in the country from providing support for cryptocurrencies and other crypto platforms, the move has not deterred youths from crypto trading like Sulaimon.
However, Kunbi Ademola, a tech-focused lawyer in the country, claimed that the ban has been ineffective and it has only pushed the crypto market underground. “The ban has been ineffective,” said Kunbi Ademola, a lawyer focused on the tech industry, now based in Britain. “But it has exposed a lot more young people to fraud … (peer-to-peer) is not as secure as the direct exchanges that you could do before on the cryptocurrency exchanges.”