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SEC working with CBN to lift ban on cryptocurrencies trading

“We are in discussion with CBN for both understanding and better regulating of this market.”

• April 16, 2021

The Securities and Exchange Commission says it is working with the Central Bank of Nigeria to understand better and regulate cryptocurrencies.

The Director General, Lamido Yuguda, said this at the 2021 first post-Capital Market Committee (CMC) virtual news conference.

Mr Yuguda added that SEC was in discussion with the CBN to understand better and regulate the crypto-assets market.

He said that the commission had suspended the implementation of crypto assets guidelines due to a lack of access to Nigerian bank accounts.

“We are in discussion with CBN for both understanding and better regulating of this market. We will be able to come back to you later to inform you of the outcome of these engagements.

“But because of the lack of access to commercial bank accounts, we had to suspend our own guidelines of September 2020. The implementation of that circular is suspended until these operators are able to have access to Nigerian bank accounts,” he noted.

Speaking further, he stated, “Remember that nobody operates in the Nigerian capital market if that person does not have access to a Nigerian bank account.”

Mr Yuguda, however, said SEC remained supportive of fintechs and had invested so much in developing a framework to support their operations.

“Let me say that the SEC remains very supportive of fintechs.

“We have invested so much in developing a framework for supporting fintechs in the various areas, and fintechs are acting in areas of crowdfunding, investment advice, and cryptocurrencies and the like,” he said.

He explained that the market was disrupted by CBN’s prohibition on access to Nigerian bank accounts by the crypto exchange.

“In all other areas, nothing has changed, but in the area of crypto assets, you know that with the recent prohibition by the CBN on access to Nigerian bank accounts by crypto exchanges, that market has been disrupted.

“The truth of the matter is that while the SEC had issued guidelines in September 2020 aimed at regulating this market, for now for all intents and purposes, because these exchanges do not have access to commercial bank accounts in Nigeria the market, for now, does not exist,” he said.

According to him, the commission recognises the impact of FinTechs on capital market activities. He assured the public that SEC would remain accommodative of this development.

“We shall continue to engage players and support them to operate lawfully.

“Our aim is to ensure the delivery of safe products and services without stifling innovation,” Mr Yuguda added.

He encouraged fintech firms to approach the commission for due registration and desist from operating illegally.


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