CBN Insists Investments in Cryptocurrency Illegal
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
For the umpteenth time, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned Nigerians to be wary of investments in cryptocurrency, stressing that virtual currencies are not legal tender in Nigeria.
The central bank gave this fresh warning in a statement on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, signed by its Acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor.
The apex bank’s spokesman reiterated that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, etc and Exchanges such as NairaEx were not licensed or regulated by the CBN.
Mr Okorafor emphasized that dealers and investors in any kind of cryptocurrency 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 to be cautious against investing in cryptocurrency as doing so would be at their own risk.
It will be recalled that the CBN on January 12, 2017, issued a circular to Banks and other financial institutions on virtual currency operations in Nigeria.
In spite of all effort by the nation’s chief lender to improve certain parameters of the economy, he said lenders had failed Nigerians.
Speakers at the strategy session were unequivocal in their attempt to find solution to the failure of the commercial banks to rescue the situation.
The representative of the only commercial bank at the meeting, First Bank of Nigeria, said that everything boiled down to the huge risk involved in giving credit to SMEs.