Nigeria’s apex capital market regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has warned Nigerians against investing in digital currencies, otherwise known as crypto currencies.
In a circular issued at the weekend, SEC stated that crypto currencies such as Swisscoin, OneCoin, Bitcoin and such other virtual or digital currencies and their promoters have no legal standing in Nigeria to provide comfort for any investor.
The Commission stated that none of the persons, companies or entities promoting crypto currencies has been recognised or authorised 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.
According to the Commission, 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 authorised, nor any guidelines and 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,” SEC stated.
The Commission urged the public and consumers of financial services to ascertain that the entity with whom the investment or transaction is being made is authorised by the Commission or other financial services regulatory authority as applicable to provide such services before making any financial commitment.
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