1 March 2018

Nigeria: Again, CBN Warns Against Virtual Currencies

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again cautioned Nigerians to be wary of investments in cryptocurrency, stressing that virtual currencies are not legal tender in Nigeria.

The bank in a statement last night reiterated that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, among others and exchanges such as NairaEx are not licensed or regulated by the CBN.

The statement signed by the bank's acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, emphasised that 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.

It will be recalled that the CBN had on 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 CBN 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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