The Central Bank of Nigeria has officially informed that they can never stop bitcoin. Such a radical statement was made at a breakfast meeting prepared by the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Nigeria which are considered key players in Nigeria’s financial and technology sphere.
The meeting was titled as “Cryptocurrency: Evolution, Regulatory Challenges, and Impact on the Future of Payments and Settlement Systems.” In particular, all experts gathered to talk about the impact of cryptocurrencies—blockchain technology and bitcoin.
Musa Itopa-Jimoh, the Deputy Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s banking and Payments System, clarified the CBN’s attitude to bitcoin. In particular, he told that plenty of people misunderstand the bank’s hot warning.
The First Vice President of the CBN, Dr. Uche Olowo, told that such a topic was undoubtedly crucial for the Nigerian financial market.
“On the one hand, all interested parties consider bitcoin as the most valuable and the highest performing currency in the world. On the other hand, most traditional and reputable financial players consider bitcoin as complicated and as unstable, doubting its intrinsic value. Nonetheless, bitcoin has the necessary power to affect the more traditional methods of payments and settlement systems worldwide,” explained Dr. Uche Olowo.
Mr. Musa Itopa-Jimoh replied that the CBN has any power to regulate neither bitcoin nor blockchain. “Just the same way no one is going to control or regulate the Internet. We don’t own it,” emphasized the Deputy Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s banking and Payments System.
According to Bitwin.io, Nigeria has already issued quite a few warnings against certain cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin. For instance, on January 12, 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a particular circular to all banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria on virtual currency operations around the country. The CBN required all mentioned institutions to take immediate actions. In particular, the notice informs: “The CBN reiterates that such virtual currencies as Bitcoin, Monero, Ripples, Litecoin, Onecoin, Dogecoin, and similar products can never be considered legal tenders in Nigeria. Therefore, any institution or bank that is involved in cryptocurrencies businesses does it at its own risk”.
Almost simultaneously, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission issued a statement threatening Nigerian citizens from investing in Onecoin, Bitcoin, and Swisscoin. In particular, the SEC told people that such investments are extremely risky by nature and some of them are undoubtedly considered “fraudulent pyramid schemes.” The public notice informed that all Nigerians are advised to be extremely cautious regarding cryptocurrencies as a vehicle of investments.
Notwithstanding all the warnings, Mr. Musa Itopa-Jimoh explained that the Central Bank of Nigeria has never wanted to stop bitcoin usage. “We have never been issuing authority for bitcoin. It’s not our currency. We neither control nor issue bitcoin. What we do is only caution Nigerians”, he explained. He also added that if they really participated in cryptocurrencies, they cannot come to the CBN for consumer protection it cannot control bitcoin.
“Plenty of people just misinterpreted the fact that we desired to bring bitcoin to an end. We can never stop bitcoin. Bitcoin is not an invention of 2016. So, how can the Central Bank of Nigeria, not central bank of the world, stop the running and implementation of bitcoin?” asks Mr. Musa Itopa-Jimoh.
Moreover, he emphasized the fact that all the CBN has been merely threatening Nigerians when either investing in digital currencies or dealing with them since the Central Bank of Nigeria has no abilities to control any virtual money.
Source: Naija.ng Nigeria.
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