Report: Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission Establishes Fintech Division for Crypto Research
The Nigerian securities regulator, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has established a fintech division “to study crypto investments”. That is what Lamido Yuguda, the director-general of the SEC, revealed during an interview.
Protecting Crypto Investors
In the interview, Yuguda explains that the findings of the investigation will help inform the SEC on the best ways to regulate cryptocurrency if the Feb. 6 directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is lifted. However, the director-general did not provide a timetable for issuing regulations and did not specify when he expects the CBN directive to be lifted.
Meanwhile, in the same interview, Yuguda explains why his organization likes to come up with crypto regulations. He explained:
We are closely monitoring this market to see how we can bring out regulations that will help investors protect their blockchain investment.
As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, Nigeria remains an ideal hunting ground for crypto scammers. Many unsuspecting investors continue to lose money to criminals who also seem to take advantage of the lack of laws in the country regulating cryptocurrencies.
To protect investors, Nigerian regulators such as the SEC have therefore issued warnings, while the central bank has gone so far as to block the crypto industry’s access to the banking ecosystem.
The real reason behind the desire to control crypto
However, some Nigerian crypto enthusiasts believe that the ongoing depreciation of the naira is the real reason behind the desire of CBN and other regulators to control the crypto industry. The ongoing foreign exchange shortages versus rising demand are blamed for accelerating the naira’s decline against major currencies. Cryptocurrencies are another way for individuals to maintain value beyond the faltering naira.
In response to this deteriorating situation, authorities have imposed restrictions on both crypto and non-crypto entities such as Bureau de Change operators. In addition, the CBN recently took action against six fintech companies after they allegedly violated the provisions of their operating licenses.
But unlike the CBN’s crackdown, Yuguda insists his organization wants to “work with fintech companies to boost the marketing of domestic securities to prevent capital flight”. He adds that the “SEC is looking for savings through investment programs, which currently have more than $9.7 billion under management across public and private fund managers.”