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Guidelines on crypto assets remained suspended, says SEC

By Helen Oji
16 April 2021   |   3:01 am
Director-general of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda, yesterday, reaffirmed that the suspension of the crypto assets investment guidelines proposed by the agency last year is still valid.

Ctyptocurrency. Photo: Altcoin Today

Director-general of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda, yesterday, reaffirmed that the suspension of the crypto assets investment guidelines proposed by the agency last year is still valid.

At a press briefing after a meeting of the Capital Market Committee, yesterday, Yuguda said the recent Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) decision to close accounts of crypto exchanges in Nigeria to protect the financial system from abuse has disrupted the market.

He insisted that SEC’s suspension of the proposed guideline would remain valid until operators of the various crypto exchanges have access to their accounts in Nigerian banks that were closed by CBN.

“SEC remains supportive of the growth of Financial Technology (Fintech). We have invested in developing a framework to support crowdfunding, investment advice, and cryptocurrencies.

“In other areas of financial technology, nothing has changed but for cryptocurrency. With the recent publication by the CBN directing Nigerian banks to close crypto exchanges account, the 2020 guidelines issued by the commission to regulate the market are still under suspension.”

Yuguda, who said the commission and the CBN were working out modalities to enhance optimal regulation of the market, promised that the outcome of the interface would be made public.

“We are in close discussions with the CBN for better regulation of the market. We will come back to tell you the outcome of the interface,” he said

On the creation of new rules for the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), the new operating exchange post demutualisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Yuguda said “the existing rules governing the exchange are still operational until there is need to create new rules for the exchange.

“As needs arise for new rules to be created, we will look into it but the rules that have been governing the exchange are still valid.”

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, had, at a recent forum in Lagos, faulted the prohibition of cryptocurrencies in the country, saying they should rather be regulated.

At a one-day special summit on the economy organised by the CBN, in collaboration with Bankers Committee, the vice president said there was a need for regulators to create knowledge-based regulations that would help maximise the strengths and opportunities associated with blockchain technology and also minimise the risks and threats associated with it.

According to him, Nigeria needs to prepare for the shift to blockchain technology.

“We must move Nigeria’s digital economy into global drive. Nigeria’s ICT is making giant strides. We must build software. As a nation, we have to embrace technology for our development processes,” he said.