The Blockchain Business Coordinating Committee of Nigeria (BICCON), has stated it’s not lawful for Nigerian monetary establishments to arbitrarily freeze or shut financial institution accounts belonging to people or entities accused of buying and selling cryptocurrency.
Affected Crypto Entities Advised to Search Authorized Recommendation
In a public assertion issued on November 22, BICCON — a coalition of Nigeria’s foremost cryptocurrency and blockchain advocacy teams — advises affected people and firms to hunt authorized recommendation and redress in courts the place acceptable. The physique additionally insists that no Nigerian group, public or non-public, must be above the regulation.
As beforehand reported by Bitcoin.com Information, Nigerian monetary establishments have been closing or freezing financial institution accounts of entities suspected of buying and selling cryptocurrency since November 3. The establishments have claimed they’re doing this so as to adjust to the Central Financial institution of Nigeria (CBN) directive that was initially issued on February 5.
Nonetheless, regardless of these claims by banks, the blockchain committee insists it’s questionable for the monetary establishments to dam or freeze accounts just because the account holders are cryptocurrency merchants. BICCON’s assertion explains:
We contemplate questionable the actions of deposit cash banks (DMBs), nonbank monetary establishments (NBFIs), and different monetary establishments (OFIs) blocking, closing, and/or freezing the financial institution accounts of people and entities by the mere undeniable fact that these people and entities are concerned in cryptocurrency buying and selling or cryptocurrency-related transactions with out extra. It’s not supported beneath the present legal guidelines of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The assertion additionally reiterates BICCON’s stance on a CBN directive that was initially utilized by monetary establishments to justify the exclusion of crypto entities from the banking system.
Solely Nigerian Legislature Can Criminalize Crypto Buying and selling
In the meantime, in the identical assertion, BICCON additionally makes use of the renewed highlight on the Nigerian cryptocurrency business to restate its perception that the CBN is encroaching on the law-making powers of the legislature. BICCON states:
“Since 5 February 2021, a variety of individuals and entities accounts have been closed … Although because the regulator, the CBN has the statutory authority to delimit banking operations, however [the] ordering [of] banks and different monetary establishments to freeze [or close] accounts suspected to be in use for cryptocurrency is probably not supported by regulation. It is because there may be at the moment no laws by the Nationwide Meeting criminalizing or illegalizing commerce in cryptocurrency in Nigeria.”
The assertion insists the failure to evaluate the CBN’s round “will set a harmful precedent within the nation.” The assertion additionally means that whereas BICCON is in opposition to the “undue discrimination” in opposition to Nigeria’s blockchain & crypto business, the physique is prepared to collaborate with involved regulators, regulation enforcement businesses, and the federal government.
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