By Concise News Correspondents
The Securities and Exchange Commission has given a public notice on its website concerning investment in Bitcoin, Swisscoin and other types of crytocurrencies.
The Commission said its attention has been drawn to radio advertisements and other modes of solicitations of the public to invest in cryptocurrencies and such other virtual or digital currencies.
In response to these, SEC advised the general public to be extremely careful when deciding to invest in digital currencies.
This warning, according to the SEC, is in consonance with similar warnings issued by responsible central banks and capital market regulators worldwide in relation to investing in digital currencies.
The Commission stated that the warning is predicated on the fact that none of the persons, companies or entities promoting cryptocurrencies has been recognised or authorised by it or by other regulatory agencies in Nigeria to receive deposits from the public or to provide any investment or other financial services in or from Nigeria.
Therefore, any investment opportunities promoted by these persons, companies or entities have a high likelihood of being false, of a very risky nature, or just Ponzi schemes.
The lack of recognition also means people who lose their money have no legal recourse. This is because, “given that these instruments and the persons, companies or entities that promote them have neither been authorised, nor any guidelines/regulations developed for them by any of the regulatory authorities in Nigeria, there is no protection available to users or investors in these virtual currencies from financial losses if the virtual currencies fail or the companies promoting them go out of business.
“The public and consumers of financial services are further advised that before making any investment or entering into any financial services transaction they should ascertain that the entity with whom the investment or transaction is being made is authorised by the Commission or other financial services regulatory authority as applicable to provide such services.”
This announcement comes on the heels of the activities of some individuals propagating the Ponzi scheme popularly called MMM.
The scheme promised its investors returns of 30% on investments and also granted referral bonuses.
At the moment, the scheme has been off since December of last year but promises to be back on 14 January, 2016. Participants wait with bated breathe.