Central Bank of Nigeria Shifts Stance on Previous Cryptocurrency Restriction


Adamu Lamtek, a senior official at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has denied claims that the bank restricted the use of cryptocurrencies. Instead, Lamtek noted that the institution’s directive applied to the banking sector only.

This statement by Lamtek, who was speaking on behalf of CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, is coming a month after the CBN’s issued a directive to banks to discontinue the facilitation of cryptocurrency-related transactions in Nigeria on February 5. Since then, trading volume on centralized exchanges has dropped significantly, while reports show that peer-to-peer (P2P) trading volumes have soared over the same period.

Meanwhile, rumors had begun to spread that the apex bank was nursing plans to clamp down on P2P transactions on platforms like Binance.

However, in his recent statement, Lamtek clarified that the CBN directive did not ban cryptocurrency trading.

After the CBN issued the directive, many leaders from the Nigerian blockchain and fintech space expressed their dissatisfaction with the institution’s decision. One of these leaders, Adedayo Adedajo, the Managing Director at Jerulida Africa DLT, noted in a recent interview that he supports an increase in regulation in the industry, but that an outright ban was outlandish.

The Public Fights Back
The CBN’s recent action got heavily criticized by the cryptocurrency community in Nigeria, including the country’s vice president, Yemi Osinbanjo. Adebajo asserted that the recent shift in stance on cryptocurrencies by the CBN was likely due to the opposition mounted by the public. Adebajo noted that:

“Let’s not forget that the initial attempt only scratched the surface a bit as trading continues on the peer-to-peer platforms despite the CBN directives. Allowing trades to continue can’t be said to be subject to CBN’s power anymore as the financial sector has partially been decentralized.”

While the CBN doesn’t have the power to restrict peer-to-peer trading, Adebajo argues that the recent shift is “a way forward one which we all hope with continuous effort to regulate the industry, adoption will be broad and fast.”


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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.