CBN Denies Mandating Banks to Freeze Crypto Exchange Accounts

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CBN Denies Mandating Banks to Freeze Crypto Exchange Accounts
  • The CBN denied reports stating that it froze accounts related to unlicensed crypto firms.
  • The regulator said that it wasn’t responsible for issuing the circular.
  • “Always refer to the Bank’s website for authentic information,” said CBN.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has refuted claims suggesting that it ordered local banks to freeze accounts associated with unlicensed crypto exchanges. 

Reports surfaced alleging that the CBN directed financial institutions to freeze accounts associated with exchanges like Binance, OKX, Bybit, and KuCoin, but the bank has denied issuing such directives. 

In a post on X, the central bank clarified that the circular instructing banks to freeze accounts linked to unlicensed crypto exchanges did not originate from the regulator. It urged the public to rely on its official website for authentic information.

The CBN emphasized, “Always refer to the Bank’s website for authentic information.”

Earlier reports claimed that the CBN issued a directive instructing banks to identify and freeze accounts engaged in transactions with cryptocurrency exchanges. These accounts were to be placed under a “Post No Debit (PND) instruction” for six months. Additionally, the reports listed Bybit, KuCoin, OKX, and Binance as exchanges not licensed for operations in Nigeria.

However, as of press time, no official orders regarding the freezing of banking accounts linked to crypto transactions have been published on the CBN’s official website.

The CBN’s stance on cryptocurrency transactions has evolved over time. In late 2023, the bank lifted its previous ban on crypto activity in the country, pushing institutions to carry out cryptocurrency services while signaling a shift in Nigeria’s approach to the crypto market.It is also important to note that Nigeria also ranks in the list of the top 50 major cities with the infrastructure to experience mass adoption of cryptocurrencies.

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