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It has been a horrible year, CEO of KurePay Abikure Tega said as the company Close Shop

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Following the continuous aggression towards crypto and crypto businesses by the Central Bank of Nigeria, KurePay has decided to suspend its operations in the country. 

KurePay is a social payment application for fiat and cryptocurrency. The company revealed it’ll be suspending it’s OTC business and other consulting services for Nigerians and Africans. 

The decision for one of the earliest players in the space in Nigeria to leave the country comes from the actions of the regulatory bodies. 

In February, specifically 5th, the Central Bank of Nigeria published a circular prohibiting financial institutions from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions and ordered the investigation and closure of bank accounts connected to cryptocurrency trading. 

The Nigerian Senate had called the CBN Governor,  Godwin Emefiele to testify before the house, however, the Central Bank has remained resolute in its march against crypto. On this parade the CBN published names and BVN records of accounts of businesses associated with cryptocurrency. 

Abikure Tega, the CEO of KurePay, said it has been horrible for the growth and adoption of cryptocurrency in Nigeria.

In his words;

“This year has been quite horrible for cryptocurrency adoption and expansion in Nigeria as CBN continues to take drastic measures to slow down and frustrate Nigeria’s growing ability to participate in what has been the fastest-growing emerging industry in the world. 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.”

The clampdown began on the 5th of February, 2021 when the CBN published its circular which put a stop to the facilitation of crypto by financial institutions. However, prior to that, crypto growth and adoption have been on the high with Nigeria ranking high as one of the top countries in the world. 

The circular resulted in the halting of the business relationship between financial institutions – crypto businesses, thus traders had to switch to peer-to-peer means of trading. Still, this has had its own challenges as the CBN still blocks all accounts noticed to be linked with crypto. 

Also, the labour cost and time spent in operating peer-to-peer systems have also affected the smooth services users had been accustomed to. 

These challenges have all contributed to the decision of suspending operations in Nigeria. 

Future Plans for KurePay 

Taking into consideration the clampdown on crypto related organizations by the CBN, the KurePay platform has advised users to carry on with their transactions, as usual, pending when they are migrated to a newly created US-based platform which would be communicated to them in due time. 

.For now, new Nigerian users are not encouraged to use the platform for now.

” Due to this recent clampdown which we find difficult to understand considering that Nigeria is not a lawless country, KurePay, Africa’s foremost social payment app for cryptocurrency & fiat—is announcing the suspension of business operations in Nigeria. Henceforth, KurePay will restrict its business to over-the-counter (OTC) and crypto consulting services for Nigerians and Africans at large”.

Since the beginning of the year, several companies have had to either shut down or move to other jurisdictions. 

What does this mean for the Nigerian crypto space? Will, the CBN’s cause other businesses to leave Nigeria? Whatever the case, Nigeria has become a hostile ground for crypto businesses. 

What do you think of this article? Share your comments below. 

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