Nigerian central bank to freeze Bybit, KuCoin, OKX, Binance user accounts

The Nigerian Central Bank (CBN) has ordered banks and financial institutions within the country to locate and flag any customers involved in dealings with digital currency exchanges. These identified accounts must then be restricted from further transactions for a period of six months.

A “Posted No Debits” (PND) order is a command given by a bank or financial organization to limit certain activities on a client’s account. With this restriction in effect, the account holder is unable to carry out debit transactions, which includes withdrawals and payments, using the specified account.

Based on the circulated notice to CryptoMoon, the Central Bank of Nigeria named Bybit, KuCoin, OKX, and Binance as unlicensed cryptocurrency exchanges, meaning they are not authorized to conduct business within Nigeria.

The bank issued a warning that it will identify and take action against individuals they suspect are engaging in unlawful USDT (Tether) transactions on the specified exchanges, with a particular focus on those employing peer-to-peer (P2P) trading methods.

Nigerian central bank to freeze Bybit, KuCoin, OKX, Binance user accounts

A conflicting announcement was made by the CBN: as of now, regulated financial institutions are barred from dealing with cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for crypto exchanges. Yet, a previous ban lifted in December 2023 permitted banks to process transactions related to crypto exchanges.

Approximately two years have passed since the Central Bank eased the restriction it had previously imposed, prohibiting banks from dealing with digital currencies altogether.

In their announcement back then, the CBN acknowledged that the surging worldwide interest and utilization of cryptocurrencies made the severe limitations set for financial institutions in 2021 no longer valid.

Despite the naira’s rapid loss in value causing an inflation rate of 29.9%, the government turned its focus towards cryptocurrency platforms in response. Websites linked to informal crypto trading, known for their unofficial naira valuations, were blocked by the government.

In 2023, Binance faced intensive examination following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) warnings about potentially suspicious financial dealings taking place on Binance’s Nigerian platform.

In the year 2023, it was reported by the Chief Executive Officer of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Olayemi Cardoso, that approximately $26 billion worth of transactions occurred on the Binance platform involving Nigerian sources or users, without being traced back to their specific origins.

In simple terms, Binance is experiencing more difficulties in Nigeria as their executive, Tigran Gambaryan, currently residing in the US, has been taken into custody there. He is being accused of five money laundering offenses after a discussion with Nigerian authorities concerning Binance’s regulatory issues.

Nadeem Anjarwlla, one of Binance’s executive representatives in discussions with Nigerian authorities regarding regulatory matters, managed to evade captivity and was later found in Kenya. He is now undergoing extradition proceedings from that country.

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2024-04-24 12:11