HomeCryptoCentral Bank of Nigeria to Freeze Bybit, KuCoin, OKX, Binance Accounts

Central Bank of Nigeria to Freeze Bybit, KuCoin, OKX, Binance Accounts

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced stringent measures that have sent shockwaves through the financial sector. The CBN has directed all banks and financial institutions to identify individuals or entities engaged in transactions with cryptocurrency exchanges, placing their accounts on a Post No Debit (PND) instruction for a period of six months.

“We are committed to ensuring the integrity of the financial system and protecting our citizens from potential risks associated with cryptocurrency transactions,” said Olayemi Cardoso, Governor of the CBN.

Under the new guidelines, customers with accounts on cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bybit, KuCoin, OKX, and Binance, which are operating without proper licenses in Nigeria, will face restrictions on certain transactions. Withdrawals and payments will be prohibited during the PND period.

The CBN’s primary concern lies with the trading of Tether USDT on these platforms, particularly through peer-to-peer (P2P) channels. The government’s attention has shifted towards platforms facilitating cryptocurrency transactions due to the rapid depreciation of the naira and soaring inflation reaching 29.9%.

In a circular released by the CBN, it was revealed that an estimated $26 billion flowed through Nigeria via Binance in 2023, originating from undisclosed sources and users. This revelation has raised serious concerns about potential regulatory breaches within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

“Binance and other platforms must adhere to regulatory guidelines and ensure transparency in their operations. We will not tolerate any illegal financial transactions,” stated Governor Cardoso.

The intensified scrutiny on Binance has led to the apprehension of Tigran Gambaryan, a US-based executive of the exchange. Gambaryan faces five charges related to money laundering following discussions between Nigerian officials and Binance regarding regulatory issues. Meanwhile, Nadeem Anjarwalla, another executive involved in the discussions, evaded custody but has been traced to Kenya. There are ongoing efforts to extradite Anjarwalla back to Nigeria to address the charges against him.

The CBN’s recent measures represent a reversal of the temporary lift on the ban placed on banks facilitating cryptocurrency exchange transactions in December 2023. The decision reflects the government’s determination to tighten control over the cryptocurrency market in response to concerns about its impact on the national economy.

As the CBN takes proactive steps to address potential risks, the Nigerian financial landscape braces for significant changes, signaling a new era for cryptocurrency regulation in the country.

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -spot_img

Must Read

Most Popular



Related News

Reviews (0)

This article doesn't have any reviews yet.