Naira Gains N1.46 at I&E as CBN Clamps Down on Crypto Trading

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Image Credit: The Sun

By Adedapo Adesanya

The week ended for the Naira in the gains territory against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange market on Friday, February 5.

The Naira closed the last trading session of the week with a N1.46 or 0.37 per cent appreciation against the greenback to trade at N396.17/$1 compared to N397.63/$1 recorded on Thursday.

The local currency was strengthened amidst a spike in the demand for forex at the market window. It was observed that the ability of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to boost FX liquidity helped the situation.

The FX dealers were able to meet the $96.82 million worth of transactions from customers yesterday. At the preceding session, trades valued at $47.72 million were carried out, indicating that Friday’s turnover was higher by $49.1 million or 102.9 per cent.

As it had been in the past days, the exchange rate of the Naira to the US Dollar remained unchanged at the black market on Friday at N480/$1.

However, at the same parallel market, the local currency appreciated by N2 against the Pound Sterling, closing at N653/£1 in contrast to the previous day’s N655/£1. Also, the domestic currency gained N2 against the Euro to sell for N578/€1 compared to the previous N580/€1.

At the Bureaux De Change (BDC) segment of the market, data from the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) showed that the domestic currency closed flat against the American currency at N395/$1.

The same trend was replicated at the interbank rate, where the official exchange rate of the Naira to the Dollar remained static at N379/$1 yesterday.

Meanwhile, despite the regulatory clampdown on cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria by the CBN, the digital coins still maintained a level of calmness at the market on Friday.

Yesterday, the apex bank ordered the immediate closure of bank accounts operated by cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

In a statement signed by the CBN Director of Banking Supervision, Mr Bello Hassan, the regulator said, “All DMBs, NBFIs and OFIs are directed to identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.”

Despite this disruption caused by the banking sector watchdog, things remained positive and according to data from Quidax, one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges in Nigeria, five out of the seven tokens tracked by Business Post appreciated.

The Bitcoin (BTC) made a 0.7 per cent gain to trade at N17,927,604.67, Ethereum (ETH) rose by 1.3 per cent to sell at N791,991.99 while Dash (DASH) moved up by 1.7 per cent to N55,644.87.

Also, Litecoin (LTC) appreciated by 3.6 per cent to settle at N72,304.98, while Tron (TRX) gained 3.4 per cent to sell at N16.66.

However, Ripple (XRP) went down by 5.7 per cent to sell at N201.76, while the United States Dollar Tether (USDT) depreciated by 4.9 per cent in value to sell for N461.21.

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