Nigerian Fintech Giants Clamp Down on Crypto Transactions Amid Regulatory Pressure

In a move signaling a significant shift in Nigeria’s fintech landscape, major players like Moniepoint, PalmPay, and Paga have issued stern warnings to their users against conducting cryptocurrency transactions through their platforms. The crackdown comes amidst the Nigerian government’s ongoing efforts to regulate the crypto space within its borders.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which has been at the forefront of the regulatory push, recently directed certain banks, including Moniepoint, to halt the onboarding of new customers. This directive, coupled with the fintech firms’ own measures, underscores a tightening grip on crypto-related activities.

In a notification issued to customers on May 2, 2024, Moniepoint minced no words, stating, “In line with CBN regulation, we will close the account of anyone engaging in crypto or other virtual assets transactions and share their details with relevant authorities.” This move represents a stark reversal from the CBN’s earlier stance, which hinted at a relaxation of its crypto ban imposed back in 2021.

In December 2023, the CBN had signaled a thaw in its approach by instructing financial institutions to facilitate account openings, offer designated settlement services, and serve as intermediaries for firms involved in crypto asset transactions. However, the recent actions taken by fintech firms like Moniepoint, PalmPay, and Paga indicate a renewed vigor in enforcing regulatory compliance, signaling a turbulent period ahead for crypto enthusiasts in Nigeria.

As the regulatory landscape continues to evolve, stakeholders in the Nigerian fintech and cryptocurrency sectors find themselves navigating uncertain waters, with the specter of heavy sanctions looming large for those who dare to flout the rules.

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