" ITREALMS: Virtual Currencies: CBN insists 'You’re on your own,' warns Nigerians

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Virtual Currencies: CBN insists 'You’re on your own,' warns Nigerians

The apex bank in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has insisted that virtual currencies are not legal tenders in Nigeria financial space, reports ITRealms.

Confirming this to ITRealms, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications at CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, warned Nigerians engaging in virtual currency to note they are doing so, strictly at their own risk.

ITRealms gathered that a virtual currency also known as cryptocurrency, is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to secure its transactions, to control the creation of additional units, and to verify the transfer of assets.

Also in a recent circular, entitled ‘Virtual Currencies not legal Tender in Nigeria’ Okorafor noted that this is in furtherance to an earlier circular issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on January 12, 2017 to all banks and financial institutions in the country.

As said by him, the Bank reiterated that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, Empowr, etc and Exchanges such as NairaEx are not licensed or regulated by the CBN.

“For the avoidance of doubt, dealers and investors in any kind of crypto currency in Nigeria are not protected by law,” CBN declared.

 Virtual currencies, he explained 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 exchangers collapse or close business,” CBN spokesman insisted.

Members of the public, especially Nigerian, he said, are “hereby warned that virtual currencies are not legal tender in Nigeria. Accordingly, we wish to caution all and sundry on the risks inherent in such activities.”

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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