The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again warned Nigerians to be wary of investments in cryptocurrency, stressing that virtual currencies are not legal tender in Nigeria.
A press release issued by the Bank on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, reiterated that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, etc and Exchanges such as NairaEx were not licensed or regulated by the CBN.
The announcement signed by the Bank’s Acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, maintained that dealers and stakeholders in any kind of cryptocurrency in Nigeria were not protected by law, thus may be unable to seek legal redress in event of failure of the exchangers or loss in the business.
The CBN, therefore, warned Nigerians to be cautious against investing in cryptocurrency as doing so would be at their own risk. It will be recalled that the CBN on January 12, 2017, issued a circular to Banks and other financial institutions on virtual currency operations in Nigeria.
Our Position on this
Although Cryptocurrency presents a variety of opportunities that did not exist prior to its development. Yet, its volatility and negative perception has led many stakeholders to hold the view that it have failed as yet to convert investors concerned about its potential rate of adoption as an alternative currency.
Therefore, the recent stern caution by the CBN seems to be in consonance with the emerging realities of the Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The promise of frictionless value transfer and global acceptability has clearly remained a mirage on the global scale.
The truth is that; many Nigerians may have suffered huge losses as a result of the price volatility of these currencies. The news may not have gone viral simply because of this type of red alert warnings put up by the CBN.
The way forward
That said, the CBN should equally begin to strategize on how best to reposition our monetary framework to respond progressively towards virtual currencies adoption in the future.
It is undeniably factual that “Bitcoin and co” may have actually come to stay. And some developed economies such as; Japan, Canada, Germany and, Holland are now accepting Bitcoin as a medium of exchange.
The rest of the world are not shutting their doors to it blindly. And Nigeria cannot be an exception. It is only a matter of time.
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