LAGOS:

Nigeria’s central bank has lifted a ban on transacting in cryptocurrencies, while saying global trends had shown a need to regulate such activities, the bank said in its latest circular.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in February 2021 barred banks and financial institutions from dealing in or facilitating transactions in crypto assets, citing money laundering and terrorism financing risks.

Subsequently, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in May last year published regulations for digital assets that signalled Africa’s most populous country was trying to find a middle ground between an outright ban on crypto assets and their unregulated use.

Read The crypto market bears the scars of FTX’s collapse

The CBN said current trends globally have shown there is a need to regulate the activities of virtual asset service providers (VASPs), which include cryptocurrencies and crypto assets.

The latest guidelines spell out how banks and financial institutions (FI) should open accounts, provide settlement services and act as channels for forex inflows and trade for firms transacting in crypto assets.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 24th, 2023.

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