NDIC Insists Cryptocurrencies Illegal in Nigeria
By Dipo Olowookere
Nigerians have again been warned to stay away from transactions involving digital currencies because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has not approved the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.
In the past, various government agencies in Nigeria have cautioned citizens on the new form of money, which is fast gaining ground across the world through various means, including social media platforms like WhatsApp and others.
The digital currencies come in the form of Bitcoin, which is the most popular, and Ethereum (ETH), Zcash (ZEC), Dash, Ripple (XRP) and Monero (XMR).
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Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday at the ongoing 29th Enugu International Trade Fair, the Manager in charge of Research Department at the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Mr Adikwu Igoche, stated that cryptocurrencies were not deposits or financial instruments authorised by the CBN.
He said as a result of the above, the currencies “are no insured by the NDIC” and if anyone loses his money trading in the business, the person does so at his own risk.
“These forms of currencies are not backed by any physical commodity, such as gold or other precious stones.
“They do not belong to the category of currencies or coins issued by the CBN or the central bank of any other country,” he stressed.
According to him, the NDIC will not relent in sensitising Nigerians to financial, operational, legal and security risks they face by patronising Ponzi schemes and digital currencies.
Mr Igoche also urged Nigerians to patronise only banking institutions that displayed the NDIC sticker with the inscription, `insured by NDIC,” in their banking halls or entrances.
He said a help desk had been created at the NDIC’s stand at the fair where depositors of closed banks could ascertain where and how to access their deposits and process their claims.
“The corporation also operates a robust 24 hours national help desk with a toll-free telephone line number 080063424357.
“The desk is for further information and enquires on depositors’ claim settlement and complaints or sharp practices by their banks.
“The general public can also access our website on www.ndic.gov.ng,” he noted.
Bitcoin and other crypto currencies are forms of digital currencies which only exist in some websites and not backed by the country’s law.