In the wake of the current trend on controversial ponzi scheme, Mavrodi Mudial Moneybox, MMM, there are strong indications that the Central Bank of Nigeria might legalise the use of Bitcoin for transactions.
On Friday, the Managing Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC), Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, revealed that the Apex Bank had set up a committee to look into the trending “digital currency, ‘bitcoin’.
He made the disclosure known at the ongoing 2016 Workshop for Financial Correspondents in Kaduna, with theme “Economic Recession and the Nigerians Banking Sector: Opportunities, Challenges and the way Forward”.
He said: “On our part, we have constituted a committee together with the central bank to have an in debt study of this phenomenal bitcoin.
“We will look at its advantages and disadvantages, what it means for the payment system and what it means for safety and security of customers.
“We will also look at what it means for money laundering, anti-corruption, crime and measurement of money /near money instrument for the economy.
“But we need a lot of education to do this and I’m calling on you (media) to educate yourselves about all of this so you can educate the public”.
Vanguard quoted Ibrahim as saying that ‘bitcoin’ included what is being called block-chain technology-based products in the market.
He said that a lot of Nigerians had already started patronising bitcoin, stressing that ‘it had started to creep in and nobody could stop it.’
He said that in Europe and the United States, it had gained currency and some of the leading banks in Europe had also adopted their own versions of bitcoins.
He continued: “Some of the central banks have also adopted it and are seriously doing everything possible to bring in the emergence of this invisible products.
“The owners do not need any central bank; they do not need any physical bank.
“If you are a subscriber, you only know yourselves and they give you a bit of the bitcoin and in some countries, you can convert it to cash.
“You can make payments with it because it has been recognised and one of the famous ex-chief executive of Barclays PLC, Antony Jenkins, have joined the group’s board of directors”.
On the issue of “MMM”, he said it had been pronounced that it was not recognised and was illegal.
“It is a very serious matter and all hands must be on deck to educate the public against things like this”.
It would be recalled, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the CBN had warned Nigerians against participating in any scheme, which they described as “Ponzi” scheme.