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CBN Fines Four Banks Over N800m For Violating Crypto Policy

In this file photo taken on February 06, 2018 A picture taken on February 6, 2018 shows a visual representation of the digital crypto-currency Bitcoin, at the “Bitcoin Change” shop in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)

The Central Bank has fined four banks for flouting its directive on cryptocurrency transactions.

The CBN had in February 2021 ordered all banks to close accounts of anyone who transacts in cryptocurrency.

According to the CBN, dealing in cryptocurrency or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.

In a report by Bloomberg on Wednesday, the CBN has now fined at least four banks for failing to comply with that regulation.

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The banks include Stanbic IBTC Bank, Access Bank, United Bank for Africa and Fidelity Bank.

Stanbic Bank, according to the report was fined N200 million for two accounts alleged to have been used for crypto accounts.

Access Bank was fined N500 million for failure to close customers’ crypto accounts; UBA was fined N100 million and Fidelity Bank was fined N14.3 million.

Stanbic IBTC told Bloomberg that it had followed the CBN directive but that some transactions may have passed through its system undetected.

Nigeria, according to Paxful, a Bitcoin marketplace, accounts for the largest volume of cryptocurrency transactions outside the U.S.

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