The Nigerian Blockchain Industry Coordinating Committee (BICCON) stated that it is illegal for Nigerian financial institutions to freeze or close the bank accounts of individuals or entities accused of trading cryptocurrency arbitrarily.
Affected cryptographic entities were told to seek legal advice
In public statement BICCON (Nigeria’s most important cryptocurrency and blockchain advocacy group alliance) issued on November 22 recommended that affected individuals and companies seek legal advice and remedies in courts where appropriate. The agency also insisted that no public or private organization in Nigeria should be above the law.
As before Report According to Bitcoin.com News, since November 3, Nigerian financial institutions have been closing or freezing the bank accounts of entities suspected of trading cryptocurrencies. These institutions claimed that they did so to comply with the instructions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Originally released on February 5th.
However, despite the bank’s requirements, the Blockchain Committee insists that it is questionable for financial institutions to block or freeze accounts just because the account holders are cryptocurrency traders. BICCON’s statement explained:
We believe that deposit money banks (DMB), non-bank financial institutions (NBFI) and other financial institutions (OFI) block, close and/or freeze the bank accounts of individuals and entities are problematic because of the involvement of these individuals and entities Cryptocurrency transactions or transactions related to cryptocurrencies, nothing more. It is not supported by the current laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The statement also reiterated BICCON’s position on the CBN directive, which was originally used by financial institutions to justify the exclusion of encrypted entities from the banking system.
Only the Nigerian legislature can criminalize crypto trading
At the same time, in the same statement, BICCON also used the renewed focus on the Nigerian cryptocurrency industry to reiterate its belief that CBN is infringing on the legislative power of the legislature. BICCON noted:
“Since February 5, 2021, the accounts of some individuals and entities have been closed… Although as a supervisory authority, CBN has the statutory power to define banking operations, [the] order [of] Banks and other financial institutions freeze [or close] Accounts suspected of being used for cryptocurrency may not be supported by law. This is because the National Assembly currently has no legislation criminalizing or illegalizing Nigeria’s cryptocurrency trade. “
The statement insisted that failure to review the CBN notice “will set a dangerous precedent in the country.” The statement also stated that although BICCON opposes “undue discrimination” against Nigeria’s blockchain and encryption industry, the agency is willing to cooperate with relevant regulatory agencies, law enforcement agencies and the government.
What do you think of BICCON’s public statement? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
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