Friday, January 13, 2017

SEC Warns Nigerians, Says, 'Beware of Bitcoin, Swisscoin, OneCoin, Others'

The Securities and Exchange Commission, on Thursday said its attention had been drawn to radio advertisements and other modes of solicitations of the public to invest in crypto currencies such as Swisscoin, OneCoin, Bitcoin and such other virtual or digital currencies.

SEC, therefore, advised the public to exercise extreme caution with regard to digital (crypto currencies) as a vehicle of investments.

This warning was in consonance with similar warnings issued by capital market regulators and central banks across the world over the past few years, the regulator said in a post on its website.

Warning the public, the commission, thus, stressed that none of the persons, companies or entities promoting crypto currencies had 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.

   ''The public should also be aware that any investment opportunities promoted by these persons, companies or entities are likely to be of a risky nature with a high risk of loss of money, while others may be outright fraudulent pyramid schemes,” the regulator noted.

   ''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.''

SEC had in August this year, raised the alarm over the activities of an online investment scheme tagged ‘MMM Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Source: Punch

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