Nigeria, is preparing new industry regulations for digital asset platforms. The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering new regulations that would allow licensed digital exchanges to list tokens backed by certain assets.
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Abdulkadir Abbas, the head of securities and investment at the Nigerian SEC, noted that the authority plans to only authorize listings of tokens based on assets such as equity, debt, or property. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether will not be among those assets. The aim is to register fintech firms as digital sub-brokers, crowdfunding intermediaries, fund managers, and tokenized coins issuers. However, the SEC will not register crypto exchanges until the central bank provides clear regulations for the crypto market.
License applicants would undergo a year of “regulatory incubation,” during which the SEC would study their operations and render their services in the country, according to Abbas. He added that by the 10th month, the SEC should be able to make a determination whether to register the firm, extend the incubation period, or even ask the firm to stop operation.
The Central Bank of Nigeria had banned local banks from providing services to cryptocurrency-related platforms in early 2021. On the ban, the regulator cited high risks associated with trading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The central bank also promised to impose strict penalties for any lender or financial institution failing to comply with the directive.