The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN has cleared the air about its stand on the ban on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in Nigeria.

The bank said the directive issued to banks on shutting down the bank account of anyone or entity that deals in cryptocurrency do not translate to an outright ban on crypto. Instead, it’s a prohibition of the banking system to facilitate any crypto transaction.

A report by local news site Today.ng stated that the apex bank disclosed this at the 30th seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors organised by the bank in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

The Deputy Governor, Corporates Services of CBN Adamu Lamtek, said on behalf of the Governor of CBN Godwin Emefiele that all the bank did was to protect the banking system from the risk of dealing with cryptocurrency.

“The CBN did not place restrictions from use of Cryptocurrencies and we are not discouraging people from trading in it. What we have just done was to prohibit transactions on Cryptocurrencies in the banking sector,” he said.

The current price of bitcoin is $57,163.12, increasing by 1.26% in the last 24 hours. Bitcoin’s current market cap of $1.07T and market volume of $52.36B. In the last 24 hours, bitcoin has dropped to $56,198.74 and experienced a 24 hours high of $58,407.62.  Currently, 18,661,112.5 bitcoins are in circulation.

Stats and Image from Coin Desk

In February, The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN reiterated its stand on traditional banks allowing cryptocurrency transactions by customers, stating that there are ‘risks associated with transactions in cryptocurrency.’

The CBN issued a directive to all banks, ordering them to shut down accounts of cryptocurrency users.

In the report, the central bank said, ‘the bank (CBN) hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.’