We are working with CBN on cryptocurrency trade regulation – SEC

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For better understanding and regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country, the Security and Exchange Commission said it is working with the Central bank of Nigeria.

The Director-General of the Commission, Lamido Yuguda, made this known at the 2021 post-Capital Market Committee (CMC) news conference that was held virtually.

The DG revealed that the commission 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.

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

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

The comments followed last week’s declaration by the SEC that fintechs allowing Nigerians access to foreign securities were operating illegally. Examples of those platforms are Bamboo, Rise vest and Chaka.

“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.

Yuguda said that the market had been disrupted by the apex bank prohibition on access to Nigerian bank accounts by 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.

“And 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 said.

He, therefore, encouraged FinTech firms to approach the Commission for due registration and desist from operating illegally.

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