Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor: Bitcoin Investing is a ‘Gamble’

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Nigeria’s central bank governor has become the latest to speak out against bitcoin, claiming that investing in it is a ‘gamble’ and that it may need to be regulated.

Bloomberg reports that speaking during an interview in Nigeria’s capital city Abuja, Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said:

Cryptocurrency or bitcoin is like a gamble, and there is a need for everybody to be very careful. We cannot as a central bank give support to situations where people risk savings to ‘gamble.’

Emefiele is the latest person to join a growing list of global authorities that have spoken out about their concern regarding bitcoin and its need to be regulated. Last year, the number one digital currency saw its value rise by over 1,700 percent, with the culmination of December seeing bitcoin within touching distance of $20,000 for the first time.

Heightened interest from retail and institutional investors has meant that there is increasing concern among regulators that the currency is in a bubble due to its volatility. Not only that, but there remains a strong perception that the crypto market is being used among criminals.

Just yesterday it was reported that Tokyo-based digital currency exchange Coincheck had been hacked, resulting in the theft of $530 million worth of NEM, and making it the biggest cryptocurrency theft in history.

Situations like this are what are fuelling the demand for more oversight within the market. However, while countries such as China and South Korea are tightening their stance around digital currency trading, demand for cryptocurrencies continues.

Since record highs with bitcoin last month the currency has slumped in value, and in recent weeks has been struggling to regain highs above $11,000. Now, though, it what has been a slight upward shift, major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum have seen their prices increase. Earlier today it was reported that the two had posted five percent gains.

At the time of publishing, bitcoin’s value is trading at $11,489, according to CoinMarketCap. Ethereum is once again priced above $1,000, at $1,100.

The fact remains, however, that the start of 2018 has not been the best of beginnings for the cryptocurrency market, with many still arguing that it seems like a bubble. According to Emefiele, it is because of this uncertainty around it that he has asked his ‘colleagues in the research and monetary-policy department to study the market and get to know what the issues are.’

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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