‘Digital assets classification will protect investors’
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said recent guidelines on Digital Assets, Classification and Treatment is aimed at boosting investors’ protection in the capital market.
Head, Registration, Exchanges, Market Infrastructure and Innovation, Emomotimi Agama, while speaking on the guidelines in an interview, said: “The first thing the SEC bothers about is investor protection.
“This is no different from what we have been doing. We are looking at investor protection, integrity, transparency and of course we want to make sure the market is safe and everyone is comfortable with what is going on in the investment climate.”
Agama noted that the Commission launched the Fintech road map last year, after which it set up the block chain virtual financial assets committees.
“These committees are both market-wide and principally done to engage the market, to be able to have discussions with the market and get their buy-in into what we are doing.
“What we found out today is that a lot of persons, especially youths, are all involved in this space, and it is important that even as far as that is the case, the SEC lives up to the expectations, making sure that people getting into business are protected.
“Clearly, that is our aim, and the market is part of this and indeed the feedback has been wonderful. People are happy with what we are doing, being able to provide some clarity as to where we stand in terms of digital assets regulation.
“Digital assets are the next thing, our idea is not to stifle innovation, but to promote it within a reasonable space and that is exactly what we are doing. Section 13 of the ISA empowers us to do this, and so we are doing what we have been empowered to do by law,” he said.
On what internal capacities the SEC is developing to meet the challenges of this fast-changing digital financial world, Agama said: “The SEC is a knowledge-based institution and before we come out with this kind of initiative, we would have done so much research.
“I need to tell you the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance has been partnering the SEC, and up to this point, we have been engaging with them and several of our staff have been part of their programmes.”
“The World Bank and other institutions are also working with us on Fintech to see that the Nigerian landscape is not left barren but guided with basic principles. We will not leave any stone un-turned.
“We would ensure that everyone within the SEC that has the responsibility to guide investors and the populace in making sure we have an investment environment that people will be proud of is provided. We will continue to upgrade ourselves; we will continue to learn because knowledge is for life.”
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