Nigeria’s Crypto Traders Risk Arrest to Bypass Ban

With the country getting serious about banning the trading of bitcoin and other volatile cryptocurrencies, young Nigerians who rely on digital currencies are going underground

Citing concerns that cryptocurrencies can be used for money laundering, terrorism financing and other illegal activities, Nigeria has joined the growing list of countries – including China, Russia and Turkey – to tightly restrict or prohibit trading in bitcoin and other volatile digital currencies.

But traders and crypto experts say the ban has only pushed the industry underground, with Nigerians trading between themselves using mobile messaging apps and established but unregulated platforms like Binance and Paxful, opening them up to high fees and scams.

“The ban has been ineffective,” said Kunbi Ademola, a lawyer focused on the tech industry, now based in Britain.

“But it has exposed a lot more young people to fraud … (peer-to-peer) is not as secure as the direct exchanges that you could do before on the cryptocurrency exchanges.”

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