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Zenith Bank, GTBank, others go after Cryptocurrency Account Holders

Information reaching us says Some banks in the country have started shutting down accounts believed to be linked to cryptocurrency months after the Central Bank of Nigeria prohibited the trading in Nigeria.

Recall that on February 5, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released a circular addressed to banks and other financial institutions with the directive that transactions in cryptocurrencies and facilitating payment for cryptocurrency exchanges were prohibited.

The CBN further instructed all banks and other financial institutions to identify individuals or entities that transact in cryptocurrency or operate cryptocurrency exchanges and close their accounts.

The regulator ordered Nigerian banks to close all cryptocurrency-related accounts. It has also barred financial institutions from facilitating cryptocurrency payments in the country.

According to findings, Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) and Kuda, a Fintech startup, are reportedly aligning in support of the industry’s regulator by shutting down accounts linked to cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria.

In a series of letters circulated to individuals who received large amounts into their accounts in a space of a few days or involved in outflow of huge sums, they were asked to submit documents backing the transactions.

Zenith Bank in its letter, told a customer, whose account was closed due to cryptocurrency trading, “The decision to close the account is due to CBN regulation/circular of January 12, 2017, February 5, 2021, which prohibits institutions and individual accounts dealing in cryptocurrency and facilitating payment for cryptocurrency exchanges.”

On its part a Kuda representative said Kuda is a microfinance bank, and we don’t deal in crypto-related businesses, adding that the Fintech firm doesn’t just block an account,

there has to be a cogent reason.

Also, Kuda had written to an account holder who received 50 transactions within two days, to “Please explain the source and purpose of this inflow.”

While explaining reasons Kuda sought clarification on large inflow, the rep stated that for every transaction above N5 million, the account holder is mandated to supply some information to back it.

The clampdown on cryptocurrency traders comes at a period when the most popular digital coin, bitcoin, surpassed it’s all time high of $66,975, to set another record of $68,990.90.

Source : Blue print

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