Nearly two months after outlawing cryptocurrency trading, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) appears to have backtracked on its earlier decision. The country’s apex bank has clarified that citizens are free to trade Bitcoin and other digital assets on a p2p basis.
According to a report by Today Ng early this week, the directive was intended to bar financial institutions from servicing crypto-related business or actively participating in crypto-related activities. Following the new revelation, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria is not considered an illegal act.
Adama Lamtek, Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, clarifying the CBN’s stance on digital assets said:
The CBN did not place restrictions on the use of cryptocurrencies and we are not discouraging people from trading it. What we have just done was to prohibit cryptocurrency transactions in the banking sector.
The move by the CBN to retrace its step does not come as a surprise. Several notable personalities have spoken against the ban, with the most recent being the country’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. While calling for caution in approaching the nascent technology, the Osinbajo said that regulators must prepare for change.
We must act with knowledge and not with fear. We must ensure that we are in a position to benefit and in a position to prevent any of the adverse side effects, or any of the possible, even criminal, acts that may arise in consequence of adopting or taking any of these options.