The Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria (SEC) has disclosed that discussions are underway with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the regulation of cryptocurrencies. The Securities and Exchange Commission also confirmed that crypto programs it issued in September 2020 will remain suspended under a Central Bank directive dated Feb. 7, 2021.
Side-by-side cryptographic policy suite
However, the regulator promises that stakeholders will be informed of the outcome once the discussions with the CBN are completed. Meanwhile, SEC CEO Lamido Yuguda sought to justify the regulator’s decision to suspend its own guidance in his remarks at the Capital Market Committee’s (CMC) first quarter virtual conference. He said:
Because we cannot access commercial bank accounts, we had to suspend our own guidelines in September 2020; implementation of this circular has been suspended until these operators can access Nigerian bank accounts.
He added that this was the only logical step because nobody can operate in the Nigerian capital market unless they have access to a Nigerian bank account.
Support for all fintechs
However, Yuguda says the Securities and Exchange Commission is very supportive of fintechs after the regulator invested heavily in developing a system to support fintechs in various areas. He also adds:
Nothing has changed in all other areas, but in crypto assets, the market has been disrupted by the CBN’s recent ban on accessing Nigerian bank accounts on crypto exchanges.
According to Bitcoin.com News, the CBN has issued a directive prohibiting banks from facilitating transactions in cryptocurrencies. The CBN directive seems to contradict an earlier SEC circular that appeared to approve cryptocurrencies. The resulting confusion soon led to the Securities and Exchange Commission dropping its guidance on cryptocurrencies and expressing support for the CBN’s decision.
However, in his recent comments, Yugoda is trying to reassure the cryptocurrency industry that the regulator will continue to attract players and provide legal support for their activities. Finally, the SEC says it wants to ensure that safe products and services are offered without stifling innovation.
Do you think the Securities and Exchange Commission will be able to act against the CBN? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
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