The Central Bank of Nigeria has sent a notice to banks and other financial institutions in the country, warning them of some issues associated with cryptocurrencies. The regulator specifically stated that Bitcoin, Ripple, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin and others are not legal tender in Nigeria and thus anyone dealing with them do so at their own risk.
Unlike the claims on some community forums, the central bank did not “ban bitcoin” in Nigeria but rather just asked the financial institutions under its jurisdiction to follow standard policies meant to curb money laundering and terror financing.
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While banks are asked not to hold, trade or use any cryptocurrencies themselves, they are allowed to keep servicing bitcoin exchanges. They need to make sure these exchanges have effective controls in compliance with rules on customer identification, verification and monitoring.
Only if the exchanges are found to be not compliant do banks need to stop their relationship with them according to the Central Bank of Nigeria. And if banks notice any suspicious transactions, they need to be reported, presumably just as with any non-cryptocurrency related clients.
It should be noted that many reports refer to the Bulgarian-created OneCoin as a multi-level marketing (MLM) scam.