Last week, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned Nigerians against the use of Bitcoins and other Virtual Currencies (VCs) and now, the Central Bank of Nigeria has also warned Nigerians against the use of virtual currencies, including bitcoin, ripples, litecoin etc.; and instructed Nigerian banks to discontinue all virtual currency transactions.
Nigerians, whenever CBN releases a currency-related statement:
The director, Financial Policy and Regulation department, CBN, Mr Kelvin Amugo in a statement said:
“The emergence of Virtual Currencies (VCs) has attracted investments in payments infrastructure that provides new methods of transmitting value over the internet.”
“Transactions in VCs are largely untraceable and anonymous making them susceptible to abuse by criminals, especially in money laundering and financing of terrorism.”
“VCs are traded in exchange platforms that are unregulated, all over the world. Consumers may, therefore, lose their money without any legal redress in the event these exchanges collapse or close business.”
Mr Amugo also tells banks to ensure that existing customers that are virtual currency exchangers have effective controls that enable them to comply with customer identification, verification and transfer, monitoring requirements.
In spite of banks having controls in place, the CBN would still like Nigerians and banks to know they’re on their own.
“The CBN reiterates that VCs such as bitcoin, ripples, monero, litecoin, dogecoin, onecoin, etc., and similar products are not legal tenders in Nigeria.
“Thus, any bank or individual that transacts in VCs does so at its own risk.”
It’s noteworthy that Bitcoin was the best performing currency of the year 2016. It has appreciated from four cents in 2010 to over $1,000 in 2017. So much so that the ponzi scheme organization, MMM is aware and has introduced bitcoin as a mode of payment.
Meanwhile, the Naira has sharply declined by over 60% and shows no signs of recovering and we have forex spending limits.
What does the CBN want us to do, really?
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