Nigeria’s central bank has called for the regulation of Bitcoin to avoid it being used for money laundering, Coin Desk reports.
Bitcoin, a virtual currency that is not backed by any central bank or government, has gained prominence in sub-Saharan Africa since its inception in 2009, especially in the money transfer market as African living in the Diaspora seek cheaper and faster ways to send money back to family and friends back home.
Lack of Bitcoin agents to convert Bitcoins into hard cash in most African countries, such as Nigeria is however putting brakes on a seemingly seamless innovation.
Okwu Nnanna, deputy governor of financial system stability at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) told stakeholders at an Anti Money Laundering workshop that “Virtual currency was dangerous because it was not a legal tender of any country. Hence it has a borderless nature without jurisdiction which makes it a channel for money laundering.”
“So, in order to curb money laundering, virtual currencies should be regulated,” he added.
As the largest economy in Africa, with the largest population on the continent, Nigeria has been on the radar of African Bitcoin entrepreneurs.
Bitpesa, a Bitcoin exchange and remittance