In a tweet from its verified twitter handle, the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned members of the public against transacting in cryptocurrencies. See tweet below;
Be Warned! Virtual Currencies are NOT Legal Tenders. The #EFCC Advises against Crypto Currencies and Any Associated Dealings.
— EFCC Nigeria (@officialEFCC) January 27, 2017
The EFCC did not specify which law will be broken by the usage of Cryptocurrencies and what the potential consequences of its usage are. Some Nigerians on twitter were quick to criticize the tweet chiding the EFCC on the need to embrace rather than reject it. Some also wondered what legislation we have that makes cryptocurrencies illegal. Here are some of the tweets.
@BBoason better to embrace & inform on CryptoCurrencies
CryptoCurrencies strenght is that its outside regulatory preview
— Financial Planning (@FinPlanKaluAja) January 27, 2017
since there is no central account for crypto currency, is any crime committed using it at your own peril?
— Francis Ordunhayor (@francess88) January 27, 2017
is it a criminal offence to own/deal crypto currency? If it is, please state it clearly. Thank you
— oye (@LivinPruf) January 27, 2017
personally,i feel CryptoCurr. shldnt b Legalize. An institution dat doesnt want to b held Accountable shldnt be Patronized.
— Pete (@Peterbelieves) January 27, 2017
The CBN also recently put out a statement on cryptocurrencies, warning Nigerians of its risks.
While it did not specifically ban their operations in the country (it actually can’t ban it), it however stated that banks and other financial institutions were not to transact in them. It also asked banks to practice the KYC principle when dealing in transactions involving cryptocurrencies.
The CBN has however set up a committee in conjunction with the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to look examine all aspects of cryptocurrency operations.