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CBN restricts crypto bank account operators from cash withdrawal



The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has announced that cash withdrawals from accounts formed for virtual and digital asset transactions will be prohibited.

Withdrawals from these accounts will only be possible by transfer or through a manager’s cheque, the apex bank explained. It revealed this in a new ‘Guidelines on Operations of Bank Accounts for Virtual Assets Service Providers.’

According to the bank, an account opened under its new guidelines will only be used for transactions on virtual/digital assets and not for any other purpose.

The guideline read in part, “No cash withdrawal shall be allowed from the account. No third-party cheque shall be cleared from the account. Except for settlement of a virtual/digital assets transaction which shall be done through a transfer to another designated account, the withdrawal shall be only through a managers’ cheque or transfer to an account.”

In a December circular titled, ‘Circular to all banks and other Financial Institutions guidelines on operations of bank accounts for Virtual Assets Service Providers,’ with reference number FPR/DIR/PUB/CIR/002/003, and signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa, the banking regulator announced a policy change on crypto assets and directed banks to begin to aid crypto transactions.

In its new policy direction, the bank stated that it was more open to the idea of regulation rather than its earlier position of the restriction of crypto assets from the formal banking sector.

The guideline, published alongside the circular, is meant to serve as the framework for the reintroduction of crypto into the formal banking sector.

Commenting on the guideline, the CBN said, “The Guidelines shall apply to banks and other financial institutions under the regulatory purview of the CBN.”

Part of the objectives read, “Provide minimum standards and requirements for banking business relationships and account opening for Virtual Assets Service Providers in Nigeria.”