Nigeria’s Financial Regulator, EFCC, Holds Over $20 Million Worth of Crypto assets from Defaulters

Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) isn’t backing down in its desire to bring suspected financial offenders to the books. The regulatory body under the leadership of Abdulrasheed Bawa has revealed that cryptocurrencies worth over $20 million are in their coffers after they were recovered from defaulters.

In an interview with a local television station, Bawa affirmed the value of the recovered loot. According to him, cybercriminals in the country are leveraging electronic mediums to perpetrate crimes and remain anonymous. He disclosed that these illegal activities were orchestrated on the dark web through the sales of gift cards in exchange for cryptocurrencies.

Bewa noted that earlier before this period, the cybercriminals only received their loot from conventional financial services providers like Western Union and MoneyGram. However, the advent of decentralized finance that encouraged anonymity made them switch to cryptocurrencies. 

In a bid to curb the nefarious activities of internet offenders, the EFCC created a cryptocurrency wallet to hold and store illegally obtained cryptocurrencies. 

The Nigerian Government Antagonism to Cryptocurrencies 

It is an obvious fact that the Nigerian government regards virtual currencies in a negative light. Earlier this year, the Country’s Central Bank banned all financial institutions from operating crypto-related transactions. The crackdown went further to seek out and block the personal accounts of defaulters who continued to carry out crypto transactions.

The decision which wasn’t favorable to the young population of the country was heavily criticized. However, Nigerian citizens didn’t easily bow out of the crypto community as they began to employ P2P services to trade cryptocurrencies. This development led them to become the foremost peer-to-peer crypto trading nation in the continent.

Due to recent developments and the interest of several sovereign entities, the apex bank in Nigeria is looking to develop a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The bank announced that they are in the last stages of the CBDC development and would proceed to test it once the stage is completed. 

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