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Nigeria’s securities watchdog strengthens regulations for crypto service providers

TL;DR

  • Nigeria’s SEC tightens rules for crypto providers to stop criminals from using capital markets.
  • New guidelines focus on anti-money laundering and terrorism financing measures.
  • SEC plans consultations and emphasizes compliance for legitimate crypto operators.

Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to implement updated guidelines for cryptocurrency service providers to bolster the integrity of its capital markets. The aim is to thwart criminal activities and safeguard investors from potential risks associated with the crypto market.

New guidelines aimed at preventing criminal infiltration

Recent reports from Nigerian daily newspaper The Punch highlight the SEC’s efforts to fortify regulations surrounding cryptocurrency service providers. 

The updated guidelines come in the wake of the government’s actions in February, which blocked local access to prominent crypto platforms such as Binance, Kraken, and Coinbase. 

These platforms were implicated in facilitating transactions involving significant sums of untraceable funds within the country, prompting regulatory scrutiny.

Focus on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures

Central to the SEC’s updated guidance are stringent anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CFT) measures. The regulatory framework includes a comprehensive manual detailing protocols for onboarding and ongoing screening of Digital and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) to ensure compliance and prevent criminal infiltration into the capital market.

The SEC’s emphasis on AML/CFT measures underscores its commitment to safeguarding the integrity of Nigeria’s financial system. By implementing robust protocols, authorities seek to mitigate the risks associated with illicit financial activities, including money laundering and terrorism financing, within the cryptocurrency space.

Consultation and compliance

The SEC has signaled its readiness to engage with legitimate VASPs, subject to adherence to the newly established rules and regulations. Before final approvals are granted, the commission plans to solicit feedback through consultations on its proposed measures, ensuring transparency and accountability in the regulatory process.

While the exact criteria for assessing criminality among operators in the capital market remain unspecified, the SEC’s proactive stance reflects a concerted effort to preemptively address potential loopholes and vulnerabilities within the regulatory framework.

As Nigeria’s regulatory landscape undergoes significant revisions to accommodate the burgeoning cryptocurrency market, the SEC’s latest initiative underscores the imperative of maintaining robust oversight and adherence to international best practices in combating financial crimes. 

By bolstering AML/CFT measures and enhancing regulatory scrutiny, authorities aim to foster investor confidence and mitigate systemic risks associated with the evolving digital asset ecosystem.

In an era marked by rapid technological advancement and financial innovation, regulatory authorities worldwide face the formidable task of balancing fostering innovation and safeguarding against illicit activities. 

Nigeria’s proactive approach serves as a testament to the importance of adaptive and forward-thinking regulatory frameworks in navigating the complexities of the digital age.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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James Kinoti

A crypto enthusiast, James finds pleasure in sharing knowledge on fintech, cryptocurrency as well as blockchain and frontier technologies. The latest innovations in the crypto industry, crypto gaming, AI, blockchain technology, and other technologies are his preoccupation. His mission: be on track with transformative applications in various industries.

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