Twitter users have lambasted the Central Bank of Nigeria for allegedly banning banks from processing cryptocurrencies.
A letter dated February 5th, 2021 is trending on Twitter and it revealed that the central banker had initially written to the financial stakeholders on January 12, 2017 about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies.
The letter went on to direct banks to close accounts of persons and companies operating cryptocurrency exchanges immediately.
Part of the letter read, “Further to earlier regulatory directives on the subject, the Bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.
Accordingly, all DMBs, NBFIs and OFIs are directed to identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges within tier systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.
Please note that breaches of this directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions. This letter is with immediate effect.”
Social media users have been bashing the decision of the CBN and how it will affect the financial technology industry.
Village Parrot tweeted, “Omooooo, what the hell is that letter from CBN? Why is this government so wicked!?”
Victor Asemota while sharing the letter on his Twitter handle captioned it, “We went back to the stone age again.”
Another Twitter user, Nathaniel Luz even revealed that his bank had called to threaten him. Replying to Asemota’s tweet, Luz said, “My bank called me threatening to flag my account if I use it to transact further with crypto exchanges.”
Author, Japhet Omojuwa expressing his concerns tweeted, “Young Nigerians and FinTech are being targeted. No conversation, no consultation, just an atomic bomb on entire companies and ecosystems.
Popular Twitter user, Dr Dipo Awojide tweeted, “It looks like the success of young people is a threat to the Nigerian state. Several government policies damage businesses and create unemployment as against enabling young people to thrive and creating jobs. It’s really very unfortunate.”
Social media influencer, Bhadmus Akeem tweeted; “The world is embracing crypto aggressively, but cabals in CBN are doing everything possible to make sure we continue to do things the old way. How are we ever going to achieve financial inclusion with feckless regulations here & there? Stone age regulators.”