Towards enforcing its strong stance against cryptocurrency, authorities in Nigeria have continued to take extra measures towards cracking down on crypto users in the country. Allegedly, some bank account of crypto holders were frozen on the order of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Business Day, a newspaper in Nigeria reported on Tuesday how Adebayo Sulaimon was picked by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) for trading cryptocurrency. Sulaimon was getting ready for the day when Nigerian police officers raided the 23-year-old graduate’s compound in the southwestern town of Ilorin to arrest him and his roommate.
Sulaimon’s crime, police told him as they took him away from that October morning, was trading digital assets, something he had started doing a month before the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stepped up its efforts to ban the practice in February.
After spending five hours at a local police station and paying bail of 120,000 naira ($290), Sulaimon and his roommate were released — then went straight back to buying and selling digital currency.
“There were no jobs, nothing to do. We had to look for ways to eat. I trade cryptocurrency, and I use it to survive, not as a side hustle,” he said.
Crypto ban, a soft landing for eNaira?
Reportedly, Nigeria continues to enforce its crypto ban towards providing a soft landing for its recently launched CBDC (eNaira) just as the case is in China. The Nigerian Central Bank launched digital Naira after some delays, but the motive was to curb the use of private cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and other altcoins.
eNaira has been enjoying a bit of success as the number of wallet downloads crossed 500,000. 78,000 merchants from 160 countries have also enrolled for the use of CBDC and a total of $155,000 worth of eNaira has been transacted since launch.
After the launch of the eNaira, Bitcoin trading volume in the country has dropped. Digital assets transactions in Nigeria dropped at P2P level as a result of Nigeria’s apex bank’s fierce battle against digital assets transactions through its financial ecosystem.
However, several Nigerian traders are still risking police arrests and growing scams as it is the only livelihood they have, making profits on the crypto trade like the case of Sulaimon.