Nigerian banks keep track of their customers’ accounts trading cryptocurrencies

In Nigeria, commercial banks have started monitoring accounts that appear to be used to trade cryptocurrencies.

The action is in response to an order from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that requires all commercial banks Freezing the accounts of at least two people involved in cryptocurrency trading.

According to a report from the local publication Leadership, an internal notice at one of the banks instructed staff to begin monitoring accounts with significant transaction volumes or those believed to be used to trade cryptocurrencies. According to Leadership, the memo reads:

We would like to reiterate that the CBN is closely monitoring non-compliance with the policy on the closure of all accounts involved in cryptocurrencies in order to achieve a high-impact regulatory sanction. In light of the foregoing, all employees are urged to identify the companies that make or operate cryptocurrency exchanges on their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.

Nigerian banks keep track of their customers’ accounts trading cryptocurrencies
Nigerian banks keep track of their customers’ accounts trading cryptocurrencies

The document stressed that employees who fail to disclose participation in an account in cryptocurrency trading would be penalized.. All employees are now required to participate in the monitoring of accounts, transactions and customers to ensure that the bank is fully compliant with the CBN requirements as per internal communications.

Accounts that might be flagged include those of financial technology companies with a large volume of daily transactions without a payment license, or accounts that have cryptocurrencies in their memorandum or commercial term.

Private accounts with large incoming and outgoing payments of several days as well as small companies whose daily turnover is above the target should also be marked with red flags. It also suspects accounts that receive large amounts of money from multiple payees and make numerous payments to multiple payees.

The CBN said in the letter that it was circulated on social media less than a week after it was posted eNaira launch, that the accounts are used for trading cryptocurrencies and thus violate the central bank’s order of February 5th.

In a message on Twitter, Senator Ihenyen, who heads the Blockchain Technology Stakeholders Association of Nigeria, said criticized CBN’s decision as illegal and unfair. According to Ihenyen, only the Nigerian legislature is empowered to do the Regulation of Bitcoin (BTC ).

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