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CBN warns against investment in virtual currencies

CBN warns against investment in virtual currencies

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Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Wednesday night cautioned Nigerians to be wary of investments in crypto-currency, stating that virtual currencies are not legal tender in Nigeria.

The apex bank in a statement issued in Abuja, stated that crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, and exchanges such as NairaEx were not licensed or regulated by the CBN.

The statement signed by the Bank’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, emphasized that dealers and investors in any kind of crypto-currency in Nigeria were not protected by law.

It added that since they are not protected by law, these investors may not be able to seek legal redress in event of failure or collapse of the business.

The apex bank warned Nigerians against investing in crypto-currency as doing so would be at their own risk.

The bank 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 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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