Nigeria’s markets regulator has published a set of digital asset regulations, indicating that the continent’s most populous country is attempting to strike a balance between outright bans on crypto-assets and their unregulated use.
Last year, Nigeria’s central bank prohibited banks and financial organizations from trading with or assisting digital currency transactions.
However, the country’s young, tech-savvy population has embraced cryptocurrencies, for example, employing crypto exchanges’ peer-to-peer trading to circumvent the financial sector prohibition.
On its website, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria (SEC) announced the “New Rules on Issuance, Offering Platforms, and Custody of Digital Assets.”
The 54-page document establishes registration requirements for digital asset offers and custodians, as well as classifying the assets as securities subject to SEC regulation.
The SEC stated that no digital asset exchange would be permitted to facilitate asset trading unless the commission had issued a “no objection” finding.
A digital assets exchange will be needed to pay a registration cost of 30 million Naira ($72,289), among other fees.
Nigeria launched the eNaira, a digital currency, in October with the hopes of extending banking access.
Unlike cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, official digital currencies are backed and managed by the central bank.
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