In today’s edition of Bitmama’s weekly crypto news roundup, we cover interesting developments in the cryptocurrency industry. Top picks -European Union (EU) targets Russian crypto wallets in latest round of sanctions, Dogecoin rallies again after Elon Musk joins twitter board, Nigeria’s central bank fines Access Bank, Stanbic IBTC and UBA $1.9 million for facilitating crypto transactions.
Let’s get started.
European Union targets Russian crypto wallets in latest round of sanctions
While imposing its fifth package of sanctions on Russia, the European Union on Friday targeted crypto wallets, banks, cryptocurrencies and trusts so that Russians could not use them to evade sanctions.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, EU-based crypto exchanges were already required to apply sanctions that bar transactions from targeted individuals, but there were concerns that loopholes remained.
The EU on Friday said it was extending the prohibition to deposits to crypto-wallets.
“This will contribute to closing potential loopholes,” the EU’s executive European Commission said in a statement.
Crypto wallets allow individuals to keep the password that gives them access to cryptocurrencies safe, and to send, receive and spend cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
The EU said it is also banning the sale of banknotes and transferable securities, such as shares, denominated in any official currencies of EU member states to Russia and Belarus.
Dogecoin rallies again after Elon Musk joins twitter board
Dogecoin (DOGE) is up 11%, per Messari data, following Twitter’s (TWTR) announcement of Elon Musk as the newest member of its board of directors.
As part of the deal to join the board, Musk has agreed to not bring his stake any higher than 14.9% from the current 9.2%. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and Musk exchanged tweets Tuesday morning expressing their excitement and interest in working together.
Agrawal: “Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to the board.”
Musk: “Looking forward to working with Parag and the Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!”
It’s the second spike in two days for dogecoin on Musk/Twitter-related news. While Monday’s move quickly reversed, DOGE currently has been rising, now topping $0.16 for the first time in two months.
Over the past few months Musk, the CEO of Tesla (TSLA) has promoted dogecoin, even allowing for DOGE to be accepted for payment at Tesla’s supercharging stations and its online merchandise store. Now the largest individual owner of Twitter shares and a board member, Musk could push for DOGE payments to somehow be integrated into the social media company’s platform.
Nigeria’s central bank fines Access Bank, Stanbic IBTC and UBA $1.9 million for facilitating crypto transactions
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) imposed a fine of N8 million ($1.9 million) on three banks —Access Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank and United Bank for Africa Plc — for allegedly facilitating cryptocurrency transactions in 2021.
Access Bank explained in its latest earnings report that it was fined the sum of N500 million ($1.2 million) by the apex bank.
Meanwhile, Stanbic IBTC Bank received a N200 million ($478,595) fine for the same infraction, followed by a N100 million ($240, 500) fine for United Bank for Africa, UBA.
Wole Adeniyi, the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC Bank, acknowledged the fine while speaking during an investor call on Tuesday.
He informed stakeholders that although the bank did everything possible to adhere to a 2021 CBN directive banning crypto transactions, its systems failed to detect two bank accounts that were linked to crypto merchants. Interestingly, the CBN was able to detect the two accounts using an advanced technology that Stanbic IBTC Bank did not have.
Also read: Bitmama launches Physical Crypto Cards for easy in-store payments globally