The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned Nigerians against the use of virtual currencies, including bitcoin, ripples, litecoin
CBN in a statement issued on Tuesday, stated that virtual currencies are largely used in terrorism financing and money laundering, considering the anonymity of virtual transactions.
The statement read “The attention of bank and other financial institutions is hereby drawn to the above risks and you are required to take the following actions pending substantive regulation or decision by the CBN.
“Ensure that you do not use, hold, trade and/or transact in any way in virtual currencies. Ensure that existing customers that are virtual currency exchangers have effective capital AML/CFT controls that enable them to comply with customer identification, verification and transfer, monitoring requirements.[the_ad id=”194″]
“Where banks or other financial institutions are not satisfied with the controls put in place by the virtual currency exchanger/customers, the relationship should be discontinued immediately.
“Any suspicious transactions by these customers should immediately be reported to the Nigerian Finance Intellignece Unit (NFIU).”
The apex bank said anyone trading in bitcoin is doing so at his or her own risk.
“The CBN reiterates that VCs such as bitcoin, ripples, monero, litecoin, dogecion, onecoin, etc., and similar products are not legal tenders in Nigeria.
“Thus, any bank or institution that transacts in such businesses does so at its own risk.”
Bitcoin was the best performing currency of the year 2016. It has appreciated from four cents in 2010 to over $1,000 in 2017.