Nigeria’s Securities Regulator Establishes Fintech Unit on Cryptocurrencies

The widespread in the acceptance of crypto currencies across the globe has overtime projected certain issues in areas involving its usage, operations and regulations. With much of the Nigerian crypto market underground due to government restrictions, the country’s securities regulator is looking into ways to make investors safer.

The Nigerian Securities Exchange Commission, in September last year issued certain regulatory guidelines for crypto assets. It had previously warned investors about the risk associated with unregulated investment vehicles such the BTC (Bitcoin).

Early this year a number of institutions operating in the country have been subject to government crackdown on crypto currencies especially the February ban on lenders that provide services to crypto exchanges by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

However, The Nigerian Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) now seeks to introduce regulations that will offer better protection to investors as well as regularize the industry.

According to reports, Director-General Lamido Yuguda told Reuters this week that the agency is “looking at this market closely to see how we can bring out regulations that will help investors protect their investment in blockchain.” 

Nigeria’s Securities Exchange Commission, which says that all crypto assets “are secured unless proven otherwise”, will be able to establish a regulatory framework if crypto is once again, allowed integration into the country’s banking system.  The agency is also reportedly looking to work with fintech firms to strengthen the domestic market for securities to dissuade capital flight, which continues to hinder multiple sectors.

The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) is partnering with Bitt Inc, a Barbados-based Fintech company, as a technical partner for the launch of its proposed digital currency- the e-naira.

At a meeting held by the country’s Monetary Policy Committee in Abuja in August, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele had confidently expressed that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin will eventually be legal in the country but further stressed that the government would do its best to prevent it from being used to encourage illicit activities in the country.