Nigeria’s securities regulator, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has set up a fintech division “to study crypto investments.” This was revealed by Lamido Yuguda, the director-general of the SEC during an interview.
Protecting Crypto Investors
In the interview, Yuguda explains that the study’s findings will help inform the SEC of the best ways to regulate cryptocurrency should the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s February 6 directive be lifted. However, the director-general did not provide a time frame for issuing regulations or state when he expects the CBN directive to be lifted.
Meanwhile, in the same interview, Yuguda explains why his organization is eager to come up with crypto regulations. He explained:
We are looking at this market closely to see how we can bring out regulations that will help investors protect their investment in blockchain.
As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, Nigeria continues to be an ideal hunting ground for crypto scammers. Many unsuspecting investors continue to lose money to criminals who also appear to take advantage of the country’s lack of laws regulating cryptocurrencies.
Therefore, in order to protect investors, Nigerian regulators like the SEC have issued warnings while the central bank has gone as 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 naira’s continuing depreciation is the real reason behind CBN and other regulators’ desire to control the crypto industry. The continuing shortages of foreign exchange versus the rising demand are blamed for accelerating the naira’s decline against major currencies. Cryptocurrencies are another way individuals can preserve value outside of the faltering naira.
In response to this worsening situation, authorities have imposed restrictions both on crypto and non-crypto entities like the Bureau de Change operators. In addition, the CBN recently took action against six fintech companies after they allegedly violated provisions of their operations licenses.
Yet in contrast to the CBN’s hardline approach, Yuguda insists his organization wants to “work with fintech firms to boost the marketing of domestic securities to prevent capital flight.” He adds that the “SEC is looking to boost savings through investment schemes, which currently have over $9.7 billion under management split between public and private fund managers.”
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