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CBN instructs banks to close accounts related to Crypto

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has notified Deposit Money Banks, Non-Financial Institutions, other financial institutions against doing business in Crypto and other digital assets.

In a circular dated 5th February 2021 and distributed to regulated financial firms, the apex bank of Africa’s largest economy warned and reminded local financial institutions against having any transactions in crypto or facilitating payments for crypto exchanges.

In addition, the apex bank instructed the financial institutions to immediately close the accounts of such persons or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges.

The Apex bank further warned the Nigerian Financial Stakeholders that any breach of this directive will attract serious regulatory sanctions.

See excerpt

“The Central of Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) circular of January 12, 2017 ref FPR1DIR/GEN/C1R106/010 which cautioned Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs), Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) and members of the pubic on the risk associated with transactions in cryptocurrency refers.”

“Further to earlier regulatory directives on the subject, the Bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.”

“Accordingly, all DMBs, NBFIs and OFIs are directed to identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.”

“Please note that breaches of this directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions. This letter is with immediate effect.”

Not the first time

In 2018, Nairametrics reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria had issued a statement reiterating that cryptocurrencies are not a legal tender and as such are illegal.

In a circular dated February 28th, 2018, and published on its website, the apex bank reiterated that “cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, etc and Exchanges such as NairaEx are not licensed or regulated by the CBN.”

This was the strongest against cryptocurrencies made by the CBN at the time. It also coincided with a bullish run for cryptocurrencies especially when bitcoins rallied to an all-time high of $17,000 at the time.

That same year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) were all directed by the Senate to enlighten Nigerians on the risks involved in trading with Bitcoins, but this report shows the enlightenment campaign has done little or nothing to dissuade Nigerians.

Can the CBN actually stop trading?

The central bank has control over the banking sector and by a large extent can use its powers to determine how banks allow customers to use their bank accounts for transactions.

  • While cryptocurrencies are a digital form of currency it still relies heavily on the regular currencies for everything from pricing its value to how its ownership is being determined.
  • Thus, Nigerians looking to trade in cryptocurrency will now have to seek other means outside of the banking sector, assuming Nigerian banks strictly implement the new directives.

There is also the suspicion that this could be tied to the CBN’s foreign currency controls.

How Banks will stop it

  • Banks can use the KYC information of their customers to determine which of them are used for cryptocurrency-related transactions. Once this is determined, they can block the accounts or restrict anyone from depositing money into the accounts.
  • In fact, they can place a no-debit on the account, meaning that when you transfer money to a cryptocurrency trading platform, the money could be stuck as they won’t be able to access it.
  • Ironically this is the very reason why cryptocurrencies exist in the first place, to stop any regulator, third party from getting in between transfers from one person to another.

What this means

The recent directive of the CBN will have clear negative consequences for the international crypto community, taking into consideration Nigeria (Africa’s largest economy and home to over 200 million people, mostly young), has the highest interest in Bitcoin globally.

  • According to a recent report released by Google, Nigeria emerged the first amongst other countries around the world in Bitcoin searches on Google.
  • If this policy is strictly implemented it will snuff out millions in demand from crypto hungry young Nigerians, taking out a major source of investments for many.

 

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Entertainment

Big Dreams, is set to release his debut Single’s , ‘Vanity & Painful On January 26th

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Delta State Born Singer, Big Dreams, is set to release his debut album,My Way ‘,’Coming Soon.

With they announcement of his two singles which are set to be released on 26 January 2024.

In the digital era of Afrobeats, the music superstar, Big Dreams, has established a name for himself thanks to a succession of great singles and collaborations.

They man of they moment has done great works, therefore this album will set a pathway to Greatness.

The musician made this announcement via his Twitter account. He characterized the album as everything he desires and all he stands for.

 

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Legendary singer, Kathy Brown diagnosed with stage four lung cancer

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Legendary house music singer, Kathy Brown has been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer with the disease spreading to her brain.

The American singer, 63, known for songs including Turn Me Out (Turn to Sugar) and Strings of Life (Stronger on My Own) was diagnosed late last year after being admitted to ICU in her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.

Doctors performed surgery to try and reduce swelling in Brown’s brain – with the star currently undergoing a course of radiotherapy and immunotherapy.

Kathy’s daughter Chanta Joyner has set up a GoFundMe to fund medical expenses and monthly bills for the family.

Chanta wrote: ‘As the news is only just sinking in we are already facing the harsh reality of what this means for my mother – not only the physical and medical challenges but also the many financial ones.

‘Like most artists who have devoted their careers to dance music, without being able to perform LIVE there’s little to no chance of earning an income. My mother has poured her heart and soul onto stages and dance floors all over the world for more than thirty years, and now she needs your love and support more than ever.

‘My siblings and I are going to do everything we can to take care of her, but the costs we are facing with medical expenses and monthly bills are overwhelming.

‘My mom deserves the best care and comfort that money can buy. I know that she has thousands of fans all over the world who adore her voice and her beautiful spirit.

‘Please consider contributing to assist Kathy and get her through the weeks and months ahead. The London-based record label ‘Revival’ that she has recently been working with has offered to match contributions up to $10,000.

‘Let’s show my mom that the dance music community really is an extended family who keep each other lifted not only in the good times but the hard times too. Thank you for the love, support and many messages that you have been posting and sending to Kathy. I promise you that she sees every single one, and they mean so very much to her.

Brown originally found fame as the chart-topping lead singer of the group Praxis before having US dance hits on her own.

In 1999 she climbed to #4 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart with Joy and in 2004 was the credited lead vocalist on the British act Soul Central’s Strings Of Life (Stronger On My Own), a track that samples Rhythm Is Rhythm’s 1989 House classic.

Over the years she featured on dozens of house and club singles.

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Davido to headline UnitedMasters Grammy Weekend Concert amid latest scandals

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  1. Amid the latest scandals involving artist Davido, he is due to headline the highly anticipated UnitedMasters Grammy Weekend Concert.

Before the 66th Academy Grammy Awards, which will be hosted on Sunday, February 4th at Crypto Com Arena in Los Angeles, the UnitedMasters music platform will hold a Grammy weekend.

At this famous event, Davido will perform alongside Dominican rapper Tokischa and South African-based DJ Artist Uncle Waffles.

On Friday, February 2nd, 2024, the concert will be performed at the Hollywood Palladium

More than 2,500 people attended last year’s performance, including Jay Z and Beyonce, Nas, DJ Khaled, Wiz Khalifa, Future, Damson Idris, and others.

Davido’s fame surged following the publication of his comeback album, Timeless, which has surpassed one billion streams.

His new album had raised his profile and won him a Grammy nomination. At the 2024 Grammys, Timeless received three nominations: Best Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Global Music Album.

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