CBN Warns Against Bitcoin, Other Virtual Currencies

- Says Cryptocurrencies Not Licensed In Nigeria

Godwin Emefiele - Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned Nigerians against investing in cryptocurrency, stressing that virtual currencies are not licensed in the country.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Bank’s Acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, on Wednesday and made available to THE WHISTLER.

Okorafor explained that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin and Exchanges such as NairaEx are not legal tender or regulated by the Bank.

According to the CBN director, “dealers and investors in any kind of crypto currency in Nigeria were not protected by law, thus may be unable to seek legal redress in event of failure of the exchangers or collapse of the business”.

“The CBN therefore warned Nigerians against investing in cryptocurrency as doing so would be at their own risk,” the statement added.

It will be recalled that the CBN in January 12, 2017, issued a circular to Banks and other financial institutions on virtual currency operations in Nigeria.

In the 2017 circular signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Kevin Amugo, the apex Bank had among other issues noted that virtual currencies were traded in exchange platforms that are unregulated, all over the world.

It further noted that transactions in virtual transactions in virtual currencies were largely untraceable and anonymous thereby making them susceptible to abuse by criminals , in money laundering and financing of terrorism.

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