The Director-General of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda has affirmed that the agency’s proposed guidelines to regulate the cryptospace remain suspended. As reported by major Nigerian media outfit, the Guardian, Yuguda attributed the suspension to the recent move by the country’s apex monetary authority, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in banning all banking activities involving cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.
Yuguda said the CBN’s decision to close accounts of crypto exchanges in Nigeria to protect the financial system from abuse has disrupted the market, and that the commission’s oversight of the cryptocurrency industry will remain pended until the trading platforms have been able to regain their accounts.
“SEC remains supportive of the growth of Financial Technology (Fintech). We have invested in developing a framework to support crowdfunding, investment advice, and cryptocurrencies,” Yuguda said, adding that “in other areas of financial technology, nothing has changed but for cryptocurrency. With the recent publication by the CBN directing Nigerian banks to close crypto exchanges account, the 2020 guidelines issued by the commission to regulate the market are still under suspension.”
Unclear Regulations is not Only a Challenge in the United States
Just as the cryptocurrency industry stakeholders are lamenting the unclear regulations governing the space in the United States, the Nigerian cryptospace is also recording a similar challenge. Notably, the Nigerian SEC has extended a wide arm to provide a comprehensive oversight to all market participants, however, the CBN has been quite laid back on this, refusing to change its negative views about the potential impacts of the nascent monetary technology on the ailing monetary system in the country.
Although Yuguda affirms that the SEC is in talks with the CBN to find a level playing field to let financial technology innovations thrive, the crypto-savvy population in Nigerian has devised other avenues to engage in Bitcoin and altcoin trading. This is through the advent of P2P systems rolled out by exchanges like Binance, LocalBitcoins, and others operating in the country.
Despite the exchange-banking ban, Nigeria still remains the largest cryptocurrency trading region in Africa as crypto awareness continues to surge in the country.