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Central Bank of Nigeria says cryptocurrencies not legal tender

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a circular stating that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in the country.

The CBN, in collaboration with the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), established a committee to study digital currency bitcoin in December 2016. The following month it issued a circular stating that digital currencies such as bitcoin are not legal tender in Nigeria, adding that “any bank or institution that transacts in such business does so at its own risk.”

The circular dated February 28 states:

“Further to the circular issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on January 12, 2017, to Banks and other financial institutions on virtual currency operations in Nigeria, the Bank wishes to reiterate that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, etc and Exchanges such as NairaEx are not licensed or regulated by the CBN.

“For the avoidance of doubt, dealers and investors in any kind of crypto currency in Nigeria are not protected by law.”


In August 2017, the central bank held a meeting to discuss the potential of digital currencies in the country.

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