It is obvious many governments and relevant authorities have been caught somewhat by surprise Bitcoin sudden emergence. Hence the need to curtail its growth. Here are a few ways to bypass such and get yourself some satoshi.
Bitcoin is Money. Money is like water, and will always find a way to flow.
The CBN issued an order
Banks can no longer allow cryptocurrency exchanges to hold bank accounts with them. Banks will also no longer allow customers to use their accounts to receive or send payments associated with cryptocurrency in Nigeria.
What is the implication?
Exchanges like Luno, Quidax, Binance, etc, will no longer allow you to deposit naira on their platform using bank transfer, your bank card, or any other source related to your bank. In other words, it is going to be somewhat difficult to buy and sell crypto in Nigeria.
Did the CBN ban crypto?
Note that the CBN did not ban cryptocurrencies. Like most countries have come to learn, decentralized currencies like bitcoin and the others are now almost impossible to stop.
The CBN only banned banks from dealing with cryptocurrencies, in the hope that this will reduce the usage of these currencies. They did not ban the use of cryptocurrency and will not arrest you for having bitcoin or any cryptocurrency.
Has This Happened Before?
Yes. In 2017, the Indian central bank issued a similar order to banks in the country. It crippled the growth of crypto in India and crypto-related business had to sue the central bank for disrupting their business.
The central bank was eventually overturned by the Supreme court in 2020 after several court hearings. The court ordered the central bank to create rules to govern cryptocurrencies, not stop banks from serving crypto users.
What’s the Way Forward?
Peer-to-peer trades will be the way forward. It was the standard in India during the ban and will likely be the same for Nigerian crypto users now.
If you know anyone that wants to or buy bitcoin, you can engage with the person directly. Be careful though with who you transact with.
You can send the money for transactions via bank transfer, without noting the reason for the transfer, while the person transfers the crypto to you. This is purely trust-based and a risk that the CBN has created.
Soon, I expect exchanges like Quidax, Luno, and co to rebrand in Nigeria as P2P exchange platforms. In the meantime, you can also use Paxful, LocalBitcoins, and Binance P2P to find people willing to buy and sell at any time.
How Long Will This Last?
At this point, no one knows for long this will last. It could take a while for the CBN to reverse the circular, or court action from affected businesses may be needed to settle the dispute.
The earlier people start adopting P2P transactions, and exchanges, the easier it would be to cope with the situation.
Cryptocurrency is not outlawed in Nigeria. Only banks were banned from serving crypto users and businesses. You can use P2P transaction exchanges until the situation is resolved since no one knows for how long this will last.