Nigeria’s markets regulator publishes rules on crypto assets

By CGTN Africa

Automobiles drive past the headquarters of the Nigerian central bank in Abuja, Nigeria, on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. Revenue in Nigeria has fallen short of the government target by at least 45% every year since 2015, and shortfalls have been funded through increased borrowing. Photographer: KC Nwakalor/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nigeria’s market regulators published a set of regulations for digital assets, signalling the country is trying to find a middle ground between an outright ban on crypto-assets and their unregulated use.

Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published the “New Rules on Issuance, Offering Platforms and Custody of Digital Assets” on its website.

The 54-page document lays out registration requirements for digital assets offerings and custodians and classifies the assets as securities regulated by the SEC.

According to the SEC, no digital assets exchange would be allowed to facilitate the trading of assets unless it had received a ”no objection” ruling from the commission.

A digital assets exchange will be required to pay 30 million naira ($72,289) as a registration fee, among other fees.

The country’s Central Bank last year banned banks and financial institution from dealing in or facilitating transactions in digital currencies.

However, Nigeria’s young, tech-savvy population eagerly adopted cryptocurrencies, for instance, using peer-to-peer trading offered by crypto exchanges to avoid the sector ban.

In October, Nigeria launched a digital currency, the eNaira, in the hope of expanding access to banking. Official digital currencies, unlike cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, are backed and controlled by the central bank.

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