We can’t regulate Bitcoin –CBN

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[Abuja]–The Central Bank of Nigeria has declared that it can not control or regulate Bitcoin, the most trending cryptocurrency at the moment.

This was revealed at a breakfast meeting held last week organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Nigeria (CIBN) and titled: Virtual/Cryptocurrency: Evolution, Regulatory Challenges and Impact on the Future of Payments and Settlement Systems.

Dr. Uche Olowo, First Vice Central Bank of Nigeria, in his opening remarks, talked about why the institute considers this topic crucial for the Nigerian financial market, starting with bitcoin as he said:

On the one hand interested parties view it as the highest performing and the most valuable currency in the world…on the other hand, it is seen by most traditional financial players as unstable and complicated, and with doubts of its inherent value. Nonetheless, bitcoin has the power to greatly affect the more traditional means of payments and settlement systems, globally.

The Deputy Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Banking and Payments System (CBN), Musa Itopa-Jimoh also added:

Central bank cannot control or regulate blockchain. Just the same way no one is going to control or regulate the Internet. We don’t own it. A lot of people misinterpreted it that we wanted to stop bitcoin. We can’t stop bitcoin. Bitcoin is not an invention of 2015 or 2012; it’s not even an invention of 2010. So, how can the Central Bank of Nigeria, not central bank of the world, stop the running and implementation of bitcoin?

It will be recalled that CBN on January 12, 2017, has issued a circular where it reiterates that virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, 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.

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