The Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN), a group formed in 2018 to encourage blockchain adoption in Nigeria, has contacted public institutions to express their dissatisfaction with the country’s incorrect stigmatization of crypto and blockchain users.
SiBAN stated in a press statement shared with Coinfomania that while the use of cryptocurrencies is legal in Nigeria, authorities treat cryptocurrency investors as criminals.
Remember that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) prohibited financial institutions in the country, including Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and Non-Financial Institutions (NBFIs), from dealing with cryptocurrencies or providing services to crypto organizations, in a circular released early last year.
Customers who deal in cryptocurrencies should be detected and their accounts should be canceled promptly, according to the circular.
Failure to comply with the mandate by any of the aforementioned institutions will result in severe regulatory repercussions.
Following the CBN’s decision, which drew criticism from some Nigerian senators, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigerian Customs Service law enforcement agencies, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the Nigerian Police, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) began discriminating against and stigmatizing crypto users in the country, according to SiBAN.
Even though the CBN crypto directive does not prohibit crypto trading activities in Nigeria, the association claims that public agencies have unfairly treated crypto users by arresting and detaining crypto users, blocking and closing crypto accounts, extorting, harassing, and intimidating crypto traders.
SiBAN also stated that, while blockchain is the foundation of cryptocurrencies, the technology has numerous other applications. Despite this, authorities across the country continue to refuse persons who are developing blockchain applications or promoting the technology banking and financial services.