Nigerian Payments App Reportedly Suspending Operations Due to Government Crackdown on Crypto

Payments platform KurePay plans to suspend services to Nigerian users starting in 2022.

Nov 23, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 23, 2021 at 7:43 p.m. UTC

Nigerian payments app KurePay plans to suspend operations in the country after the government began cracking down on crypto exchanges, according to a report by local crypto publication Cryptoassetbuyer.

  • The report said that KurePay is leaving Nigeria “largely due to the increasing hostile regulatory environment” for cryptocurrency service providers.
  • KurePay’s decision to suspend operations was reportedly further fueled by two separate Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) orders from November that directed banks to close accounts associated with specific users tied to crypto activity.
  • According to the report, KurePay will officially stop providing services to Nigerian users in the first quarter of 2022.
  • In February, Nigeria’s central bank ordered the country’s banks to close accounts associated with crypto activity. The CBN later clarified that the order was not new, citing a circular from 2017.
  • It is unclear whether accounts tied to KurePay users were also affected by the recent orders.
  • According to the report, KurePay plans to restrict its business to over-the-counter (OTC) and consulting services for Nigerians, while new users are not encouraged to use the platform for now.
  • KurePay CEO Abikure Wisdom Tega reportedly said the CBN’s crackdown on crypto is a “disservice to Nigeria,” adding that KurePay has plans to launch a U.S.-based platform “in order to innovate in a more business-friendly environment.”

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Sandali Handagama is a CoinDesk reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She does not own any crypto.