Senate to Probe Cryptocurrency Trading in Nigeria

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By Dipo Olowookere

The Nigerian Senate has vowed to look into the trading of cryptocurrencies (digital currencies) in the country.

The upper parliament, while debating yesterday on a motion on the proliferation of digital currencies like BitCoins and others in the country, said there was need for the necessary agencies to advise Nigerians on the new phenomenon.

Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu, who called the attention of his colleagues to this, said the Senate must ascertain the worthiness of dame as a form of investment in Nigeria.

On his part, Senator Isah Misau emphasised that, “The Senate needs to advise Nigerians and come up with something standard to guide Nigerians into any form of investment.”

According to him, “This is not nice and it is unethical for all Nigerians.”

Also, Senator Magnus Abe said, “We need to provide Nigerians with proper information so that those going into such investment will know the risks involved.”

The Deputy Senate President, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary yesterday, noted that, “It is educative and people are listening to it, I want to say thank you for bringing this motion up in order to safeguard Nigerians from unsafe investment that has no source.”

He urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to make an unequivocal statement across all the news platforms in all dialects on the dangers of Bit-coin as a store value in Nigeria.

In addition, he called on the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to spread the news against all forms of wonder banks and Ponzi schemes operating in Nigeria.

Also, the Senate directed its Committee on Banking and Other Financial Institutions to investigate the viability of Bitcoin as a form of investment, come up with recommendations on how to control its uses and trade.

The Senate Committee was given two weeks to complete its probe and submit its recommendations to the parliament.

Recall that recently, the CBN chief, Mr Godwin Emefiele, described cryptocurrency as “gamble” and warned Nigerians to stay away from it.

At the moment, the form of currency is not controlled by any central bank.

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