Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has put its plans to regulate cryptocurrency in Nigeria on hold after the ban of cryptocurrency by the Central Bank.
The Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission had, before the ban, said that it was working on regulating cryptocurrency within the country and recognized it as assets, but in a publication put out on Thursday the 11th of February 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission stated that it has brought its plan to regulate cryptocurrency in the country to a pause in light of CBN’s ban on cryptocurrency.
On the 5th of February 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria released a circular signed by the Director of Banking Supervision and the Director of Payment Systems; Bello Hassan and Musa I. Jomoh respectively. The circular directed banks and other financial institutions to close accounts of crypto exchangers and individuals who operated in cryptocurrency or face serious consequences. Even after the ban, Nigerians have not backed down, infact figures still show that Nigeria is at the top of the list in everything crypto-related in Africa. Nigerians have found a solution in peer-to-peer crypto transactions and made it to the top of the list in the past week as the country with the highest peer-to-peer transactions in Africa.
Recently, the senate mandated the Governor of the Central Bank to a briefing and demanded a report that shows both the benefits and dangers of cryptocurrency, because they found the ban rather alarming.
Experts say that Nigeria has traded over $500 million in Bitcoin since the year 2015. Cryptocurrency will continue to grow in Nigeria, with or without the ban, experts say.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria said in its released statement that all its plans of regulating cryptocurrency would come to a stop because of the impediment of a ban. Specifically, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said, ‘the purpose of admittance into the SEC regulatory incubation framework, the assessment of all persons and products affected by the CBN circular of Feb. 5, 2021, is hereby put-on hold until such persons are able to operate bank accounts within the Nigerian banking system’.
At the end of the day, with or without the ban and regulation, cryptocurrency will still find ways to thrive.