KurePay Suspends Operations in Nigeria Citing Harsh Environment

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KurePay, social payment app for cryptocurrency & fiat based out of Nigeria, says it is restricting its business to over-the-counter (OTC) and crypto consulting services for Nigerians and Africans generally, even as it explores expansion to other African countries.

KurePay’s move follows a recent clampdown on peer-to-peer crypto trading by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

In February 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) prohibited cryptocurrency transactions in Nigeria’s banking and financial system.

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Speaking about the February clampdown, Abikure Tega, CEO, KurePay, said:

“When the CBN denied crypto companies including KurePay, access to banking and financial services infrastructure in February 2021, this led to closure of many business operations in Nigeria while others have reduced their operations to skeletal flow using a P2P system.”

                            – CEO, KurePay

Before February 2021, individuals and entities involved in cryptocurrency were provided banking and financial services as long as they complied with AML/KYC regulations implemented by their financial institutions. 

However, since the ban, the situation changed, resulting in a denial of banking and financial services to both individuals and entities involved in cryptocurrency or virtual asset transactions in the country. This led people to peer-to-peer platforms.

Similar to a number of frustrated businesses who have moved to friendlier or less hostile jurisdictions outside Nigeria, the KurePay CEO has hinted at plans to launch a US-based company with a focus on the Africa market.

It is not clear why Nigeria is clamp, but it is a similar move to China’s crypto crackdown following its CBDC launch.

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RECOMMENDED READING: We Are Ready to Work with Nigeria to Share the e-Naira Experience, Says International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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