LocalBitcoins has apparently disabled accounts from several African countries and and put out a notice to traders.
In an email shared by a trader with BitcoinKE, LocalBitcoins has listed a number of countries defined by the EU commission where they require ‘an enhanced due diligence process’ before they can operate.
While the email lists Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Libya, Nigeria, and Tunisia as the only African countries affected, traders from other countries not on the list are also complaining to have had their accounts suspended.
Upon inquiry, one Ugandan trader received an email telling him his account will remain suspended for now until the process of activation is completed, otherwise he can withdraw his bitcoin and request account deletion if he is not willing to wait for the account activation.
Traders have been caught completely unaware on this development. Acccording to one trader on LocalBitcoins:
“First, I noticed that all offers in Ghana for the GHS trading pair were completely removed on LB yesterday. And then trade volume was significantly lower on the NGN trading pair coupled with the fact that offers were low priced (I thought it was a Chinese holiday).”
This recent development follows yet another service withdrawal from the peer to peer Bitcoin marketplace when it quietly removed the in-person cash trades option and cancelled all pending fiat trades a couple of months ago.
NB: We shall update as we get more information on this unfolding development.
UPDATE: So far, we have confirmed that trader accounts in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Botswana have been locked out. On the other hand, traders in Kenya are not experiencing any problems.
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