May 23, 2024
Nigeria Trust in New Crypto-Friendly Regulator
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Nigeria Trust in New Crypto-Friendly Regulator

Blockchain stakeholders of Nigeria are optimistic about the newly appointed Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), viewing his pro-crypto background as a boon for the local crypto industry. Emomotimi Agama, former managing director of the Nigerian Capital Market Institute (NCMI), has been appointed as the new SEC Chair by Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This appointment is aimed at regulating the capital market, boosting investor confidence, and fostering economic growth.

Emomotimi Agama, Source: TheCable/X

Local Crypto Stakeholders’ Perspectives

Nigerian crypto stakeholders shared their insights on the new appointment. Nathaniel Luz, CEO of Flincap—an over-the-counter crypto exchange—expressed enthusiasm about the appointment, anticipating positive changes for the crypto sector under the Director-General’s favorable stance on crypto.

Luz emphasized the community’s anticipation of collaborative efforts between the new SEC chair and startups to streamline the licensing process for operating crypto platforms in Nigeria. As the government issues licenses for crypto organizations this year, Luz believes facilitating the licensing for numerous crypto startups will ensure regulatory compliance and operational stability for exchanges in the country.

Similarly, Lucky Uwakwe, chair of the Blockchain Industry Coordinating Committee of Nigeria (BICCoN) and founder of SaBi Exchange, hailed the appointment as a “wise decision,” citing the new Director-General’s extensive experience in blockchain and the capital market.

“We expect that his administration will separate the baby from the bath water and show that the crypto industry has several exciting benefits for the country. We need to prove to the whole world that we are open for crypto business despite the issues that some exchanges might have experienced in the country.”

Clarity on Cryptocurrency Legality Urged

Luz highlighted the importance of a clear declaration from the new SEC leadership regarding the legality of cryptocurrency in Nigeria. Amid recent developments and regulatory uncertainties surrounding cryptocurrency activities, stakeholders seek clarity from the leadership to affirm the legality of crypto operations.

In February, the Nigerian government employed telecommunication providers to block local crypto users’ access to the websites of various crypto exchanges, including Binance and OctaFX. Allegations were made against Binance for unlawfully transferring $26 billion out of the country, prompting Nigerian officials to invite the firm for discussions. Subsequently, two Binance staff members were detained and charged with five counts related to money laundering after meeting with Nigerian authorities. Nadeem Anjarwalla, one of the staff members, escaped custody and was later apprehended in Kenya, facing extradition.

Photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu

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