The Central Financial institution of Nigeria (CBN) has lifted the ban on cryptocurrency transactions within the nation in a big reversal of its earlier stance.
The change was introduced by means of a circular on Dec. 22. It permits Nigerian banks and different monetary establishments to renew operations with cryptocurrency service suppliers.
The preliminary ban, imposed in February 2021, was primarily enacted over issues associated to cash laundering and terrorism financing dangers related to crypto belongings.
New tips for crypto
Beneath the brand new tips, monetary establishments are actually allowed to open accounts for companies dealing in digital/digital belongings, however these accounts have to be particularly designated for that goal.
Banks and different monetary establishments should adjust to the necessities outlined within the CBN’s tips when coping with accounts for crypto-related companies. In the meantime, Digital Asset Service Suppliers (VASPs) concerned within the crypto enterprise are required to be licensed by the Nigerian Securities and Trade Fee.
Whereas they’ll facilitate transactions for VASPs, banks, and monetary establishments are nonetheless barred from buying and selling, holding, or transacting in cryptocurrencies on their very own accounts.
The lifting of the ban is predicted to considerably influence the Nigerian monetary panorama, given the nation’s younger, tech-savvy inhabitants that has proven a eager curiosity in cryptocurrencies.
In accordance with a report by Chainalysis, the quantity of crypto transactions in Nigeria grew by 9% year-over-year to $56.7 billion between July 2022 and June 2023.
Whereas the lifting of the ban opens up alternatives, it additionally presents challenges in guaranteeing compliance with worldwide requirements for stopping unlawful actions. It underscores the necessity for a balanced method that encourages innovation whereas safeguarding towards dangers.
Nigeria’s resolution aligns with international shifts in the direction of recognizing and regulating cryptocurrencies quite than outright banning them. This displays an rising acknowledgment of the potential of digital belongings and the necessity for complete regulatory frameworks.
The Securities and Trade Fee in Nigeria issued guidelines in Could 2022 to offer a regulatory framework for digital belongings and VASPs.
The CBN’s tips are according to worldwide suggestions, equivalent to these from the Monetary Motion Job Drive (FATF), to control the usage of digital belongings.
The FATF up to date its tips in 2018, emphasizing the regulation of VASPs to stop the misuse of digital belongings for cash laundering and terrorism financing.
The brand new guidelines symbolize a big step in acknowledging and integrating cryptocurrencies into Nigeria’s monetary system, balancing the necessity for innovation in digital belongings with regulatory oversight to make sure safety and compliance.