Two new generation banks, Access and Guaranty Trust, have started closing accounts of persons and entities doing cryptocurrency transactions within their systems, SaharaReporters has gathered.
The CBN had on February 5 directed banks to close the accounts of those involved in cryptocurrency transactions in their systems.
In an email received by an Access Bank customer and seen by SaharaReporters on Friday, the bank said it reviewed the customer’s account activities and “observed that transactions therein have been linked to cryptocurrency trading.”
The bank advised the affected customer to visit any of its branches around to request for a draft of their account balance.
The email read, “Due to the unregulated nature of Cryptocurrency trading and the further directive from the CBN, we are unable to serve as your organisation’s financial partner going forward.
“We have therefore proceeded on the closure of your account and a draft will be issued to you for the equivalent sum in your account.”
A staff member of the bank in Ekiti State confirmed the authenticity of the email to SaharaReporters.
“Yes, it’s true. Not only Access Bank, but all banks. That’s the new CBN directive to banks, so we have no option but to comply,” she said.
A screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation between a GT Bank customer and its customer support also showed the bank had started enforcing the directive of the apex bank.
In January 2017, the CBN said digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and others were largely used in terrorism financing and money laundering, considering the anonymity of virtual transactions.
The apex bank had also said that such currencies were not accepted as legal tender in Nigeria.
In February 2018, the CBN issued a warning to people who invested in cryptocurrencies, saying they would be unable to seek legal redress in the event of collapse because they were not protected by the law.
But the past six months witnessed a surge in the number of Nigerians earning a living by trading the digital asset.