CBN, SEC Working On Regulatory Guideline For Cryptocurrency Trading
Director-General of SEC, Lamido Yuguda, said this at the 2021 first post-Capital Market Committee (CMC) virtual news conference.
The new development comes after CBN in February 2021, warned Deposit Money Banks, Non-Financial Institutions and other Financial Institutions against doing business in crypto and other digital assets.
CBN directed financial institutions to immediately close the accounts of persons or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges, warning of severe regulatory sanctions in the event of any breach of the directive.
Yuguda added that the capital market regulator suspended the implementation of crypto assets guidelines due to lack of access to Nigerian bank accounts.
We are in discussion with CBN for both understanding and better regulating of this market. We will be able to come back to you later to inform you of the outcome of these engagements.
But because of the lack of access to commercial bank accounts, we had to suspend our own guidelines of September 2020. The implementation of that circular is suspended until these operators are able to have access to Nigerian bank accounts. Remember that nobody operates in the Nigerian capital market if that person does not have access to a Nigerian bank account.
Yuguda, however, pointed out SEC always provided support to Fintechs and had invested so much in developing a framework to support their operations.
Let me say that the SEC remains very supportive of fintechs. We have invested so much in developing a framework for supporting fintechs in the various areas and fintechs are acting in areas of crowdfunding, investment advice and cryptocurrencies and the like.
Yuguda acknowledged the fact that the fintech market had been disrupted by CBN’s ban on access to Nigerian bank accounts by the crypto exchange.
In all other areas, nothing has changed, but in the area of crypto assets, you know that with the recent prohibition by the CBN on access to Nigerian bank accounts by crypto exchanges, that market has been disrupted.
And the truth of the matter is that while the SEC had issued guidelines in September 2020 aimed at regulating this market, for now for all intents and purposes, because these exchanges do not have access to commercial bank accounts in Nigeria, the market, for now, does not exist.
According to him, the commission recognises the impact of FinTechs on capital market activities.
He assured the public that SEC would remain accommodative of this development, stressing;
We shall continue to engage players and support them to operate lawfully. Our aim is to ensure the delivery of safe products and services without stifling innovation.
He, therefore, encouraged FinTech firms to approach the Commission for due registration and desist from operating illegally.