Further to the circular issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on January 12, 2017, to Banks and other financial institutions on virtual currency operations in Nigeria, the Bank wishes to reiterate that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, 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. Virtual currencies 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. Members of the public 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. Read the full notice here
The attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission, (the Commission) has been drawn to radio advertisements and other modes of solicitations of the public to invest in cryptocurrencies such as Swisscoin, OneCoin, Bitcoin and such other virtual or digital currencies.
The public is hereby advised to exercise extreme caution with regard to digital (crypto currencies) as a vehicle of investments.
This warning is in consonance with similar warnings issued by capital market regulators and Central Banks across the world over the past few years.
The Commission, wishes to alert the public that none of the persons, companies or entities promoting cryptocurrencies has been recognized or authorized by it or by other regulatory agencies in Nigeria to receive deposits from the public or to provide any investment or other financial services in or from Nigeria. The public should also be aware that any investment opportunities promoted by these persons, companies or entities are likely to be of a risky nature with a high risk of loss of money, whilst others may be outright fraudulent pyramid schemes.
Given that these instruments and the persons, companies or entities that promote them have neither been authorized, nor any guidelines/regulations developed for them by any of the regulatory authorities in Nigeria, there is no protection available to users or investors in these virtual currencies from financial losses if the virtual currencies fail or the companies promoting them go out of business.
The public and consumers of financial services are further advised that before making any investment or entering into any financial services transaction they should ascertain that the entity with whom the investment or transaction is being made is authorized by the Commission or other financial services regulatory authority as applicable to provide such services.
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