Central Bank of Nigeria restates that Nigerian's are free to trade cryptocurrency

By: Dickson Arinze

Central Bank of Nigeria restates that Nigerian's are free to trade cryptocurrency

March 22, 2021 3:05 AM

The CBN has cleared the air by hinting that cryptocurrency prohibition only applies to the Banking sector. 


In a bid to make explicit the February 5, 2021, directive which prohibited banks from facilitating crypto-related transactions. Adamu Lamtek a senior executive with Nigeria’s central bank has reportedly denied that the CBN had placed restrictions on the use of cryptocurrencies amongst residents, implying that prohibition only applies to the banks.


This remark by the deputy governor responsible for corporates services at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has however allayed the fears of most Nigerian crypto savvy individuals and some prominent figures in the fintech space. 



The CBN directives which were mis-understood by a vast majority of Nigerians led to diverse speculation that authorities would restrain the activities on peer-to-peer trading like Binance’s P2P platform and Remitano while others argue, that the CBN has no power to restrict these aforementioned P2P platforms amongst others.


Adamu Lamtek's clarification was spot on to ease what has been a point of controversy amongst Nigerians.


Nonetheless, the initial circular on the crypto ban from the CBN was heavily criticized by Nigerian crypto communities and regulators who saw the ban as brutal to innovation. The Nigerian senate invited the CBN governor and major crypto stakeholders handpicked to a hearing as they seek clarifications on the issue.


CBN governor Godwin Emefiele has previously dubbed cryptocurrency as illegitimate money which has no place in Nigeria's financial structure. Emefiele at that time stated the central bank of Nigeria would make adequate research to understand the implications linked with the emerging crypto industry.