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Nigeria’s SEC Introduces Updated Regulations and Compliance Measures for Digital Assets

ByDayne Lee

Jun 24, 2024

Nigeria’s SEC Introduces Updated Regulations and Compliance Measures for Digital Assets

The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently announced significant amendments to its rules concerning the issuance, offering platforms, exchange, and custody of digital assets. This move aims to refine the regulatory framework surrounding digital assets, making it more robust and attuned to the dynamic nature of digital markets.

Detailed Amendments and Initiatives

The SEC has initiated a comprehensive regulatory update to increase oversight and integration of digital assets into the formal regulatory structure. This revision is a response to the evolving complexities within the digital asset markets and the need for a more structured regulatory approach.

The Amendments:

  • Introduction of ARIP: The SEC has launched the Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Programme (ARIP), tailored for Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs). This program is designed to facilitate these providers’ compliance with the updated regulations.
  • Special Onboarding Window: A specific timeframe has been allocated for VASPs to register through the SEC’s ePortal, with a mandate to complete this process within 30 days from the notice issuance.
  • Enforcement Warning: The SEC has also clearly stated that strict regulatory actions will be taken against any VASPs that fail to comply with the new directives.

Impact of the New Director-General

The regulatory updates follow the appointment of Emomotimi Agama as the new Director-General of the SEC. This change in leadership is seen as a pivotal moment for the SEC’s approach to digital asset regulation.

In March, prior to these amendments, the Nigerian SEC proposed an increase in the registration fees for crypto exchanges, indicating a move towards more stringent financial requirements for operation within the sector. The fee for registering crypto services was suggested to increase from 30 million naira ($18,620) to 150 million naira ($93,000), reflecting the growing importance and valuation of the crypto market in Nigeria.

Nigeria has positioned itself as a significant player in the global cryptocurrency market. According to data from 2023, Nigeria was the second-largest market for crypto adoption globally and was recognized in August 2022 as the most crypto-obsessed nation based on the volume of Google searches for terms related to cryptocurrency.

YearPosition in Global Crypto AdoptionNotable Recognition
20222nd largest economyMost crypto-obsessed country based on Google searches
2023Continues as a major player

There is a pressing call for the Nigerian government and regulatory bodies to adopt a balanced approach to regulation. Rather than imposing severe restrictions, there is advocacy for fostering a regulatory environment that supports innovation while ensuring compliance and protecting investor interests.

The amendments by the Nigerian SEC signify a strategic move towards aligning the country’s digital asset market with global regulatory standards. These changes not only aim to enhance the security and reliability of digital transactions but also strive to position Nigeria as a leading hub for digital finance innovation.

The SEC’s proactive steps highlight the critical need for ongoing adaptation in regulatory practices to keep pace with technological advancements, ensuring that Nigeria remains at the forefront of the digital economy.

Featured image credit: DALL-E by ChatGPT

Dayne Lee

With a foundation in financial day trading, I transitioned to my current role as an editor, where I prioritize accuracy and reader engagement in our content. I excel in collaborating with writers to ensure top-quality news coverage. This shift from finance to journalism has been both challenging and rewarding, driving my commitment to editorial excellence.

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