Nigeria’s SEC Issues New Rules On Issuance, Offering Platforms, And Custody Of Digital Assets

Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has shared a set of new regulations which envelope how digital assets and platforms that offer or want to offer them must operate. The new regulations issued this week suggest that the country’s market regulator is trying to find a standpoint on the outright ban of cryptocurrencies in the country and their continuous unregulated use.  

Cryptocurrencies became banned in Nigeria last year. The country’s apex bank cited money laundering and terrorism funding as significant reasons for banning them even though this didn’t sit well with various groups of people. Irrespective of the ban, Nigeria still remains one of the countries in the world with the largest trading volume which means that ban or no ban, cryptocurrencies continue to thrive only that they are unregulated and almost illegal.

Following the ban of cryptocurrencies last year, the country’s apex bank launched a central bank digital currency (CBDC) called the e-naira with the hope of narrowing the financial inclusion gap and increasing access to banking services.

The country’s young and/or tech-informed generation continued their cryptocurrency endeavors using peer-to-peer solutions which have been largely referred to as a loop out of the central bank’s ban.

The “New Rules on Issuance, Offering Platforms and Custody of Digital Assets” was published hours ago on the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission’s website. It is a 54-page document outlining registration requirements for digital assets offerings and custodians and classifies these assets as securities regulated by the SEC.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), no digital assets exchange platform will be allowed to provide asset trading services unless it has received a “no objection” ruling from the market regulator. Digital asset exchange platforms looking to provide trading services will be expected to pay a whopping sum of 30 million naira, among other fees required by the commission.

The country’s apex bank is yet to answer requests for comments.

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