Last Updated on September 17, 2021 by Ope Quadri
Major cryptocurrency trading platforms like Binance, Luno, BuyCoins Africa, YellowCard, Quidax, and others have suspended naira deposits.
This followed the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria that financial institutions should not provide crypto companies or users with the services any longer. Although, the apex bank will be launching its own digital currency called eNaira on October 1, 2021.
In a communique on Friday, February 5, 2021, Nigeria’s apex handed down the directive without giving further details why it took the decision.
There are however speculations that the decision might be as a result of EndSars, which account was funded with bitcoin during the protest in 2020 after the CBN blocked the accounts of the major sponsors.
CBN also directed all commercial banks to identify and close all accounts tied to cryptocurrency platforms or operations.
The Godwin Emefiele-led CBN told local banking institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited under a 2017 circular stating BTC and other cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in Nigeria.
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The directive generated furious comments from Nigerian traders which culminated into panic withdrawal.
All the major crypto trading platforms swiftly issues statements to assure their customers that their funds were safe.
Binance suspends Naira deposits
Binance, one of the global crypto trading platform announced in a statement that it will be suspending naira deposit until further notice, saying it is monitoring the situation closely.
Can I withdraw my money from Binance?
Yes, but due to the number of traders who are trying to withdraw the same time, it might be delayed.
The statement read:
“Withdrawal services remain normal and will continue to be processed but might take slightly longer time than usual.”
YellowCard Disables Naira Deposit:
Similarly, YellowCard issued a statement, saying “We have temporarily disabled NGN deposits, but NGN and BTC withdraws are still running smoothly.”
The trading platform assured its customers that trading is working as usual, promising that it would share further updates soon.
Quidax Updates Customers About CBN Crypto Ban:
Also, a promising crypto trading platform Quidax sent out emails to its customers, updating them about the CBN anti-crypto policy.
In a more sarcastic manner, quidax calls the CBN new directive as a “love letter”
The company expressed its disappointment about the directive, saying “Did we expect this to happen? Yes, but we have planned for days likes these.”
Luno Issues Statement about Crypto ban in Nigeria
In the same vein, one of the biggest crypto trading platforms on African continent Luno says it is aware of the circular issued by the CBN.
The firm stated that it’s pausing Naira deposits “while we seek further clarity from the authorities.”
It promised that withdrawals would continue to be processed, “but may take longer than usual.”
Nigerians trend #WeWantOurCryptoBack
Nigerian Cryptocurrency enthusiasts took to Twitter to express their displeasure saying, “#WeWantOurCryptoBack” since the letter started making rounds on the internet.
The hashtag #WeWantOurCryptoBack has been tweeted more than 40,000 times at the time of publication since the announcement of the ban.
At the time of this report, CBN was yet to provide an official reason for the sudden order that is sending panic through social media.
Are you affected by the CBN directive? Let’s hear from you
Ope is the co-founder of InfomediaNG. He’s a researcher whose interests cut across real estate investment, stocks, financial technology, and youth empowerment. He’s awesome in Content Marketing and SEO. Favourite Tools: Google Analytics, Canva, RankMath, UberSuggest