The Nigerian startup behind the social payment app for cryptocurrency and fiat, Kurepay, says the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s current crackdown on crypto entities has forced it to suspend operations in Nigeria.
‘Horrible’ Year for Crypto Adoption
According to the Cryptoassetbuyer report, the suspension of operations will begin at the beginning of the second quarter in 2022. Kurepay’s app uses blockchain technology and will then limit its operations to OTC (over-the-counter) or crypto consulting services.
Commenting on the startup’s plan to quit the West African country, Kurepay CEO Abikure Tega is quoted lamenting what he calls a horrible year for cryptocurrency adoption and expansion in Nigeria. He stated:
This year has been quite horrible for cryptocurrency adoption and expansion in Nigeria as CBN continues to take drastic measures to slow down and frustrate Nigeria’s growing ability to participate in what has been the fastest-growing emerging industry in the world.
Tega said that many crypto businesses were closed down because the CBN had denied access to cryptocurrency companies in its banking system. Other companies were forced to switch to P2P systems to maintain skeletal flow due to the same blockade. According to the CEO, the central bank’s February 5 directive had forced Kurepay to switch to an agency network model which enabled customers to transact directly with each other.
CBN Crackdown is the Last Straw
Since November 20,21, however, the CBN has increased its stance against cryptocurrency traders. It is now targeting businesses and individuals who provide P2P platforms and services to people who trade or buy crypto. As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, the CBN’s renewed crackdown has seen some banks arbitrarily freeze bank accounts of individuals suspected of trading cryptocurrency.
Tega said that Kurepay found such targeting platforms that allow P2P transactions to be the last straw.
CBN has shown lowliness recently in closing Nigerian bank accounts due to cryptocurrency transactions. This is in direct violation of regulations. Due to this recent clampdown which we find difficult to understand considering that Nigeria is not a lawless country, Kurepay, Africa’s foremost social payment app for cryptocurrency & fiat — is announcing the suspension of business operations in Nigeria.
In addition to restricting its business to OTC and crypto consulting services, Tega said Kurepay is plotting “to operate a US-based company in order to innovate in a more business-friendly environment.” The CEO argues that such a move enables Kurepay to operate lawfully and without worrying about CBN directives.
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