Los Angeles (CoinChapter) – Godwin Emefiele, governor of the central bank of Nigeria (CBN), has clarified a statement he issued last month. That seemed to insinuate financial institutions were no longer permitted to allow cryptocurrency trading.
CBN deputy governor Adamu Lamtek, speaking on behalf of Emefiele, noted the directive is not to be mistaken for an outright ban. Instead, the bank said it is reviving an already imposed 2017 ban on institutions facilitating cryptocurrency transactions.
“The CBN did not place restrictions from use of cryptocurrencies. And we are not discouraging people from trading in them.” Said Lamtek, who was speaking at the 30th seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors in the capital, Abuja.
He added: “What we have just done was to prohibit transactions on cryptocurrencies in the banking sector.”
The statement follows the CBN announcing last month that it had placed a ban on all regulated financial institutions. From providing services to crypto exchanges in the country.
The ban directed all banks to close accounts belonging to crypto exchanges and other businesses transacting in cryptocurrencies in Nigeria. Warning of “severe regulatory sanctions” for any institution in breach of the rule.
Emefiele previously referred to cryptocurrencies as “not legitimate money.” With no place in Nigeria’s monetary system. However, the governor said the bank was doing its due diligence to better understand how cryptocurrencies work.
Many regulators and crypto enthusiasts in Nigeria have criticized the ban. With some lawmakers in the Nigerian Senate proposing the idea of inviting Emefiele to a hearing to discuss issues related to crypto regulations in the country.
Crypto holders in the country also angrily took to social media seeking clarification. In response, the CBN provided a statement that included a pledge to protect Nigerian citizens from the risks of cryptocurrencies.
How has Bitcoin performed since the CBN introduced the crypto ban?
Since the CBN introduced the crypto ban, the price of Bitcoin has shown no signs of slowing down. It is currently trading at $57,349 in the United States. Additionally, data from crypto exchange Luno currently shows BTC has risen to a more than 70% premium in Nigeria at a price of $97,509.