Nigeria’s social payments app, Bundle, shutting down crypto exchange

Nigeria's social payments app, Bundle, shutting down crypto exchange

Bundle, a Nigerian social payments app, is winding down its cryptocurrency exchange division. Although the reasons for Bundle’s decision have not been disclosed, it indicates a change in the company’s approach.

Bundle dumps crypto amid CBN restrictions

The company says the decision was prompted by the “current gloomy market conditions,” leading it to refocus on its core payments business.

Until Sep. 30, 2023, Bundle will continue to support crypto trading on its platform. However, users will no longer be able to buy or sell cryptocurrencies through Bundle after that.

Bundle launched in 2021 and became one of Nigeria’s top crypto exchanges. However, the company has faced challenges due to regulatory actions taken by the Nigerian government against cryptocurrency trading.

Over the years, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cited concerns about the potential risks cryptocurrencies could pose to the stability of Nigeria’s financial system.

The apex bank claims crypto can potentially undermine its monetary policy, disrupt financial stability, and threaten national security. As such, the authority has banned crypto in the country since 2017.

This regulatory action by the CBN reflects their determination to address these perceived risks and safeguard the country’s financial well-being.

The closure of Bundle’s crypto exchange is disappointing news for the Nigerian crypto community. Peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges, including Localbitcoins, NairaEx, and Quidax, have also been compelled to suspend trading operations in Nigeria due to the CBN’s crackdown.

The future trajectory of the Nigerian crypto market remains uncertain. Nevertheless, the closure of Bundle’s crypto exchange signifies the CBN’s continued determination to regulate and restrict cryptocurrency trading within the country.

Crypto still banned 

The CBN has consistently raised concerns over the usage of cryptocurrencies within the country, directing banks and financial institutions to refrain from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions. 

The CBN’s apprehensions are rooted in several factors, including the lack of proper regulation surrounding cryptocurrencies and potential risks and vulnerabilities. 

Cryptocurrencies are notorious for their volatility, making them potentially risky investment assets. Moreover, there have been instances where cryptocurrencies such as Monero were exploited for illicit activities such as money laundering and financing terrorism, deepening the CBN’s concerns.

These factors collectively contribute to the CBN’s cautious stance towards cryptocurrencies, as they aim to protect the financial system and minimize potential risks associated with their usage.

The CBN’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies has generated mixed reactions. Some observers welcome the decision, believing it is necessary to safeguard the country’s financial system. Conversely, others criticize the move, viewing it as an excessive exercise of government authority that could stifle innovation.

The long-term outcome of the CBN’s actions remains uncertain. Nonetheless, the CBN is committed to adopting a strict approach to cryptocurrencies, despite the country’s recent introduction of a National Blockchain Policy.  

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