The Central Bank of Nigeria is cracking down on cryptocurrencies again. Ahead of the launch of eNaira, the country’s central bank digital currency (MNBC), the institution ordered commercial banks to block the accounts of individuals who hold cryptoassets.
As Crypto-Auditor was informed today, Nigeria’s commercial banks have taken to monitoring the accounts of cryptocurrency holders. A local media outlet, employees have been ordered to monitor accounts that have large transaction volumes or are linked to cryptocurrencies. An internal memo from one of Nigeria’s banks shows that controls have been stepped up recently.
Accounts that receive large sums of money on a daily basis or that collect a lot of money from several beneficiaries will be scrutinized by banking institutions. This is also the case for accounts that make many payments to several beneficiaries or personal accounts used for professional purposes, notes the media.
Employees who fail to report accounts involved in cryptoassets risk heavy penalties. To justify the measures put in place, the memo recycles all the clichés used to discredit the cryptocurrency sector.
This crackdown is due to a recent decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria, reports the Nigerian newspaper Peoples Gazette. In a new circular to banking institutions, the entity ordered banks to “identify persons and / or entities that trade or use cryptocurrency exchanges” and “ensure that these accounts are closed immediately”. In the wake of this decision, the accounts of 2 individuals have already been blocked.
As a reminder, the Central Bank of Nigeria had already done this last February. The organization had urged banks to close the accounts of customers who buy and sell cryptocurrency before changing their mind. The central bank was quickly backing down.
The restrictive measures of Nigerien banks were put in place following the launch of eNaira, the country’s central bank digital currency (MNBC). The monetary authorities want to prevent cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) from slowing down the adoption of its digital currency, all of whose transactions are traceable by the government.
Same story in China. To prevent cryptocurrencies from overshadowing its digital yuan, Beijing has stepped up attacks against the sector. This year, China has repeatedly reiterated its hostile stance on cryptocurrencies before banning mining farms in its territory.