SEC Is­sues Guide­lines for Cryp­tocur­rency Op­er­a­tions in Nige­ria

Nigeria Communications Week - - News - Ugo On­wuaso

SE­CU­RI­TIES and Ex­change Com­mis­sion (SEC) has con­sid­ered cryp­tocur­ren­cies as dig­i­tal as­sets and will, there­fore, make it ac­cept­able and put it un­der its strict reg­u­la­tions.

In a doc­u­ment, SEC said its reg­u­la­tion will en­sure that the use of dig­i­tal as­sets is op­er­ated in a man­ner that is con­sis­tent with in­vestor pro­tec­tion, the in­ter­est of the pub­lic, mar­ket in­tegrity and trans­parency.

The SEC ex­plained that its de­ci­sion to reg­u­late the use of dig­i­tal cur­rency is not to hin­der in­no­va­tion in the coun­try but to cre­ate stan­dards that en­cour­age eth­i­cal prac­tices that ul­ti­mately make for a fair and ef­fi­cient mar­ket.

The agency said it was tak­ing this ac­tion in line with Sec­tion 13 of the In­vest­ment and Se­cu­ri­ties Act, 2007, which con­fers pow­ers on the com­mis­sion as the apex reg­u­la­tor of the Nige­rian cap­i­tal mar­ket to reg­u­late in­vest­ments and se­cu­ri­ties busi­ness in Nige­ria.

The reg­u­la­tor said it has adopted a three-pronged ob­jec­tive to reg­u­late in­no­va­tion that will safely deepen the mar­ket and pro­vide so­lu­tions to prob­lems. This will guide its strat­egy, its reg­u­la­tions and its in­ter­ac­tion with in­no­va­tors seek­ing le­git­i­macy and rel­e­vance.

Ac­cord­ing to SEC, vir­tual crypto as­sets will be treated as se­cu­ri­ties and must be reg­is­tered with the agency as dig­i­tal as­sets but if the is­suer be­lieves his crypto as­sets are not se­cu­ri­ties, this has to be proven.

The apex cap­i­tal mar­ket reg­u­la­tor stressed that “all Dig­i­tal As­sets To­ken Of­fer­ing (DATOs), Ini­tial Coin Of­fer­ings (ICOs), Se­cu­rity To­ken ICOs and other Blockchain-based of­fers of dig­i­tal as­sets within Nige­ria or by Nige­rian is­suers or spon­sors or for­eign is­suers tar­get­ing Nige­rian in­vestors, shall be sub­ject to the reg­u­la­tion of the com­mis­sion.”

It fur­ther em­pha­sised that “ex­ist­ing dig­i­tal as­sets of­fer­ings prior to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the reg­u­la­tory guide­lines will have three months to ei­ther sub­mit the ini­tial as­sess­ment fil­ing or doc­u­ments for reg­is­tra­tion proper, as the case may be.”

The body noted that any per­son, (in­di­vid­ual or cor­po­rate) whose ac­tiv­i­ties in­volve any as­pect of Blockchain-re­lated and vir­tual dig­i­tal as­set ser­vices, must be reg­is­tered by the com­mis­sion and as such, will be sub­ject to the reg­u­la­tory guide­lines.

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