Bitcoin faces further crackdown by government agencies after the Central Bank of Nigeria banned any currency or coin that was not issued or regulated by the government, including bitcoin and a list of other cryptocurrencies. The circular announcement was the first of its kind made by the CBN in relation to digital currencies for depositing money banks (DMB), non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) and other financial institutions (AIFs). The statement reads: “Following previous regulatory guidelines on the issue, the bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that it is forbidden to trade cryptocurrencies or to facilitate payments for the exchange of cryptocurrencies,” by Bello Hassan, director for Banking regulator, signed circular Musa Jimoh, director of the Department of Payment Systems Management, read. “Accordingly, all DMBs, IFNBs and AIFs must identify the individuals and / or organizations that perform or operate cryptocurrency exchanges in their systems and ensure that these accounts are closed immediately.” The CBN has also warned of severe penalties for banks or financial institutions that fail to comply with the policy. Nigeria’s Bitcoin Performance According to a 2020 study by leading crypto wallet Blockchain.com, Nigeria has seen the largest influx of activity on its wallet app since April 2020. In the poll, Blockchain.com also pointed out that Nigeria was the first country for Google to use Bitcoin.
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