By Chinedu James
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again warned Nigerians to be wary of investing in cryptocurrency, stating that they are not legal tender in Nigeria. The warning is coming even as investment in bitcoins surge in Nigeria to consolidate the country’s position as Africa’s capital of cryptocurrency.
The government bank and financial regulator had earlier in January issued a circular to banks and other financial institutions on virtual currency operations in Nigeria. But cryptocurrency has continued to gain huge followers and investors.
A cryptocurrency is a digital currency created and stored electronically. Unlike monetary currency, the supply of cryptocurrency is not determined by any central bank or authority and the network is completely decentralized.
In the latest press statement signed by Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, the CBN reiterated that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monro, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, etc and Exchanges such as NairaEx are not licensed or regulated by the CBN.
The statement further warned that virtual currencies are traded in exchange platforms that are unregulated all over the world and consumers may lose their money without any legal redress in the event these exchangers collapse or close business as there is no protection under the law for dealers and investors.