By John Ikani
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it has set up a Fintech division to study cryptocurrency investments and products.
The development is a part of efforts geared towards initiating policies that will help regulate cryptocurrency in Nigeria.
Disclosing this during a virtual interview with Reuters on Thursday in Abuja, the Director-General of SEC, Lamido Yuguda said: “We are looking at this market closely to see how we can bring out regulations that will help investors protect their investment in blockchain.’’
Although he did not provide any time frame for issuing the regulations, the SEC boss said the capital market regulator will step in with regulations once crypto is allowed within the Nigerian banking system.
What you should know
The use of bitcoin, the original and biggest cryptocurrency, has boomed in Nigeria in recent years, driven by payments from small businesses and a weakening naira currency, which makes it difficult to get the U.S. dollars needed to import goods or services.
In February 2021, the CBN ordered all financial institutions to stop facilitating cryptocurrency-related transactions and in August, blocked the accounts of six firms for allegedly sourcing funds from illegal foreign exchange operators to buy foreign securities and cryptocurrencies.
In light of the aforementioned developments, SEC has been under pressure from some experts and stakeholders to introduce guideline framework for the trading operations of Cryptocurrency in Nigeria.
According to them, the responsibility for creating a framework for Cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria lies with SEC and not the CBN, as it is done in the United States of America and other developed nations.