Nine months after the Central Bank of Nigeria placed a ban on crypto trading in the country, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced its new division that will study the cryptocurrency market. According to SEC, the new division will help analyze the cryptocurrency industry and enable the federal government to create regulatory guidelines for the sector. This was disclosed by Lamido Yuguda SEC’s Director-General – in an online interview with Reuters yesterday.
“We are closely examining the crypto market to look for ways through which we can implement regulatory policies that will help investors protect their assets on the blockchain technology,” he said.
The commission believes that the crypto market can be under regulatory control since they also involve securities transactions. He also said that the regulation will become effective as soon as the CBN lifts its restrictions on crypto trading in Nigeria.
While the SEC Director-General did not disclose when the ban will be lifted, it is likely going to occur soon.
The Securities Exchange Commission also expressed its desire to work with top fintech companies to enhance the quality of domestic securities, which can stop capital flight.
This recent development has expectedly sparked a debate among crypto experts in the Nigerian space, with many believing this decision could have been made a long time ago. Experts agree that the move will enable domestic fintech companies and cryptocurrency platforms to join forces and aid the Securities Exchange Commission, by creating innovative solutions that will boost the Nigerian economy.
Chief Executive Officer and founder of Walletcloud — Mayowa — who is a cryptocurrency expert said
“If this had come up a long time ago, it would have perhaps resulted in the fastest regulation in the nation’s history. However, if this move pays off, the CBN may have no option but to lift the ban on cryptocurrency transactions in the country.”
According to the Securities Exchange Commission, they — not the Central Bank of Nigeria — are responsible for developing an effective support structure for crypto trading in the country.
Mr. Lamido Yuguda also disclosed that the recent announcement on the launch of a digital currency — the e-Naira — is a result of the combined efforts between the Commission and the Central Bank.
Regardless of the ban imposed by the CBN on crypto trading in Nigeria, the Nigerian crypto market remains the second largest globally. This year’s figures for peer-to-peer transactions in the Nigerian space are more than twice the numbers last year. Crypto education is increasing rapidly in the country and more people are happy being paid in cryptocurrency.
“These market signals are making the Dollar becoming stronger than the Naira and this is not a good thing for the economy. One of the basic concepts of cryptocurrency is its decentralized nature — nobody has regulatory powers over it, ” Mayowa said.
“The SEC’s main objective is to create effective measures that would offer the government much control on cryptocurrency. It will be nice to see how the crypto market will react to the regulatory policies to SEC is planning to implement.”