The three banks are Access Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC, and United Bank for Africa Plc, according to a Bloomberg report released on Wednesday. The penalties, according to the report, were part of the apex bank’s efforts to ensure that banks implement an order to block cryptocurrency trading due to the threat they pose to Nigeria’s financial system.
The directive was included in a circular issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria in February 2021. Furthermore, the CBN directed banks to close the accounts of two individuals and a company in November for allegedly trading in cryptocurrencies.
Despite these regulations, according to Paxful, a Bitcoin marketplace, Nigeria has the highest volume of cryptocurrency transactions outside of the United States. According to Chainalysis, the country also has the highest proportion of retail users conducting crypto transactions under $10,000.
Adeniyi stated that, while Stanbic IBTC followed the apex bank’s directive, the transactions for which it was sanctioned may have passed through its system undetected. He added that the CBN was able to detect the relevant transactions using an “advanced capability” that Nigerian banks do not have and that they have requested that the technology be shared with them.