Nigeria has instructed entities to identify individuals engaging in cryptocurrency transactions through platforms such as Bybit, KuCoin, OKX, and Binance.

Nigeria’s Central Bank has issued a directive instructing financial institutions to identify and take action against individuals or entities engaged in transactions with four unlicensed cryptocurrency exchanges: Binance, Bybit, KuCoin, and OKX. The directive specifically warns against dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges, emphasizing that such activities are prohibited.

This move follows a series of events involving Binance and the Nigerian government, which garnered international attention. Allegations were made against Binance for allegedly contributing to currency speculation that negatively impacted Nigeria’s currency, the naira. Subsequently, two Binance executives were invited to the country, where one was arrested and later escaped.

The Central Bank’s directive, outlined in a letter to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs), Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), and the public, also mandates that identified accounts associated with these exchanges be placed on Post No Debit (PND) instruction for six months. Any violations of this directive will result in severe regulatory sanctions.

Furthermore, the letter explicitly states that individuals found engaging in illegal buying and selling of USDT (Tether) through cryptocurrency platforms will face arrest. The Central Bank of Nigeria asserts its responsibility to investigate economic issues within the country.

Interestingly, the directive does not mention any indigenous cryptocurrency exchanges. Nathaniel Luz, CEO of Flincap, a platform for over-the-counter (OTC) crypto exchanges, speculates that this omission may be due to the active pursuit of required licenses by many Nigerian crypto companies, such as Flincap itself.