Nigerian crypto traders to be able to withdraw, deposit funds soon – Luno

Cryptocurrency trading platform Luno said its Nigerian users will soon be able to deposit and withdraw funds.


“We are pleased to announce that we have approved a solution to enable our customers to withdraw and deposit Naira again on Luno. This will be available on our platform in the coming weeks,” Luno said in an email on Thursday.

Luno’s update comes eight months after it halted naira deposit and withdrawal for Nigerian cryptocurrency traders.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ban on cryptocurrency forced changes on the operations of Luno and other Nigerian fintech companies into cryptocurrency trading.

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

The Nigerian apex bank claimed that cryptocurrency and virtual currencies are largely used in terrorism financing and money laundering, considering the anonymity of virtual transactions.

Luno said it is aware of the cryptocurrency ban in Nigeria – and it is having discussions with the authorities.

The cryptocurrency trading platform said its Nigerian customers will “receive more information, along with the planned launch date, soon” but “can still buy, sell, send, receive and earn crypto with funds that are already in your wallet.”

CBN’s ban on cryptocurrency, however, divided opinion within the government hierarchy.

Nigeria’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo opposed the ban and instead called for regulation of cryptocurrency trading.

Osinbajo said there should be “a robust regulatory regime that addresses these serious concerns without killing the goose that might lay the golden eggs – so it should be thoughtful and knowledge-based regulation, not prohibition.”

However, Nigerians are navigating the regulation through P2P trading and other third-party platforms. The government has since planned to offer an alternative to young Nigerians with the introduction of e-Naira.

CBN governor Godwin Emefiele listed the benefits of the e-Naira to include increased cross-border trade and accelerated financial inclusion.

The Nigerian apex bank is engaging a Barbados-based digital financial technology firm, Bitt Inc, as a technical partner for its e-Naira project due for unveiling before the end of 2021.

With operations spreading across the Caribbean, Bitt utilises blockchain and distributed ledger technology to facilitate peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions with mobile money across a suite of Bitt’s Software and mobile applications.