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Nigeria’s central bank denies reports on crypto account freezing

Nigeria’s central bank denies false claims made by crypto media, asserting that it didn’t mandate local banks to freeze accounts associated with unlicensed crypto exchanges.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it didn’t order local financial institutions to freeze accounts linked to unlicensed crypto exchanges after reports surfaced alleging such directives. In an X post, the central bank clarified that the circulated circular wasn’t issued by the regulator, urging the public to rely on its official website for “authentic information.”

Initially, reports emerged stating that the CBN issued a directive instructing banks to identify and freeze accounts engaged in transactions with cryptocurrency exchanges, placing them under a “Post No Debit (PND) instruction” for six months. Additionally, the reports also listed Bybit, KuCoin, OKX, and Binance as exchanges not licensed for operations in Nigeria.

News reports labeled as fake by the CBN | Source: Web Archive

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, signaling a shift in Nigeria’s approach to the crypto market. However, later reports suggested that the CBN is still weighing in on banning certain crypto exchanges to combat forex market manipulation and illicit fund movements.

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