MMM’s return: SEC serves Nigerians serious warning over bitcoin, swisscoin, others

With the return of the Mavrodi Mondial Movement (MMM) in Nigeria, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned the general public against investing in crypto currencies, such as Swisscoin, OneCoin, Bitcoin and such other virtual or digital currencies.

SEC sounded the note of warning on Thursday, January 12.

Recall that the Mavrodi Mondial Movement, otherwise known as MMM had last week introduced Bitcoin, said to be the world’s best performing currency in 2016, as part of its mode of payment in its comeback plans.

Bitcoin, just like swisscoin and onecoin are crypto currencies or digital currencies created and controlled using cryptography.

In recent time, crypto currencies such as bitcoin have soared in popularity and there has been so much buzz about it though many are yet to understand how it works.

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Bitcoin can be defined as a peer-to-peer payment system, where there is no intermediary thus users can transact directly.

Transactions are recorded in a public database and the unit of measure for the ledger recording is called bitcoin.

The bitcoin generation is made by a huge computing mining, as a way of rewarding the verification and recording payment processing.

Users can also obtain bitcoins via exchange for other currencies, products and services.

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

A bitcoin

The commission 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.

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The SEC in a statement on its website added that, “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.”

The fraudsters, SEC said, carried out their illegitimate business via Nigeria.mmm.netportal/platform, and were promising investors a monthly investment return of 30 per cent.

“Please note that anyone that subscribes to this illegal activity does so at their own risk”, it added.

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