Luno’s statement on the recent Central Bank of Nigeria circular
In light of the recent circular from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) advising financial institutions to close bank accounts held by cryptocurrency service providers, Luno has been forced to disable all Naira withdrawals and deposits.
We’re very sorry that we weren’t able to inform you of this in advance, but we did not receive the prior warning that we needed from our payment partners. If you’ve already requested a withdrawal, we unfortunately cannot guarantee that it will be processed. If it is not processed, it will be returned to your wallet.
Please be assured that your funds are completely safe and we are working hard to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. This is an ongoing situation, so please check the status page for updates. We’ll keep you informed of all incoming developments as soon as we receive further information.
There are two options you can take at this point:
- Store and trade your cryptocurrency with Luno until the situation is resolved. You can continue to use all your account features as normal, with the exception of depositing and withdrawing Naira. If you’re concerned about the volatility of your cryptocurrency, you can move your cryptocurrency into USDC.
- Send your cryptocurrency to a different wallet address. You can still send your cryptocurrency to wallets on other platforms. However, we would strongly recommend that you do not send your cryptocurrency to strangers offering to withdraw your cryptocurrency for you, as they may be trying to scam you.
Luno has always worked closely with regulators in Africa and all regions in which we operate, and will continue working with the CBN and others to find a solution. Nigeria’s regulators have taken a pragmatic and forward-looking approach to cryptocurrency in the past and we’re confident that this issue can be resolved quickly, so that Nigeria can continue to play a central role in the growth of cryptocurrency.
We thank you for your patience and please know that we are working round the clock to find a solution to this issue that best works for you. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently stated that it’s in discussion with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to better understand and regulate the cryptocurrency market, and we’re confident that an accommodation can be reached that enables customers in Nigeria to access cryptocurrency and benefit from all it has to offer. We will continue to keep you updated as soon as we have any more news.
Are there any alternative options to deposit, such as PayPal?
Not at this time. We are currently working with the CBN, regulators, and our payment partners to resolve this issue with the best possible outcome for our Nigerian customers. We will then explore all options available to us.
Can I still trade using the Luno platform and exchange?
Yes. The latest circular from CBN is aimed at stopping banks from engaging with cryptocurrency providers. This currently only prevents Nigerian customers from depositing and withdrawing. Your account will otherwise continue to operate as normal and you can continue to trade between cryptocurrencies. You can still log in to your account and use the cryptocurrency you already have in there as you normally would.
Can I still send and receive bitcoin using the Luno platform and exchange?
Yes. As noted above, you can continue to use all your account features as normal, with the exception of depositing and withdrawing. Your account and your cryptocurrency are completely safe.
Why is the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies lower/higher on the Luno Exchange than other exchanges?
Luno doesn’t set the price of Bitcoin or any cryptocurrencies that are available on its platform. Luno is a marketplace where traders can come to buy and sell – the prices are therefore determined by the value traders place on cryptocurrency and the amount they are willing to buy and sell it for.
Every cryptocurrency exchange is essentially its own unique marketplace, with different traders who are buying and selling for different prices. The way that market forces work means that these prices will usually be roughly the same across the various platforms, though they will always differ slightly. Sometimes they will only differ a very small amount, sometimes they will differ a bit more.
The ban of cryptocurrency exchanges has disrupted market forces. You can find out more about this here.
Can I get a dollar account with Luno?
Not at this time, though you can store your money in USDC.
Does this mean Nigerian customers are permanently banned from trading cryptocurrency?
No. This is an ongoing situation and we are currently working with the CBN, regulators, and our payment partners to resolve this issue with the best possible outcome for our Nigerian customers. At the moment, the CBN’s circular only means that our Nigerian customers will not be able to deposit and withdraw local currency into their Luno accounts, but their ability to actually interact with cryptocurrency remains unchanged. We believe that ultimately, the best possible outcome for everyone is Nigerians being able to buy, sell and store cryptocurrency freely. However, we cannot yet say exactly what will happen in the long term.
Can I set my account to another country in order to allow me to deposit and withdraw?
If you have the required documentation, we will be able to support a change to your country of verification. However, until we have more information about the situation there is no need to do so and we would not advise this course of action.