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Cryptocurrency ban in Nigeria: CBN, SEC to provide level field for investments

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have agreed to collaborate and conduct research with a view to finding ways of regulating the Cryptocurrency market.

They said this at a virtual lecture organised by the Association of Capital Market Academics of Nigeria (ACMAN) in Abuja on Sunday.

Mr. Timi Agama, Head of Department, Registration, Exchanges, Market Infrastructure and Innovation Department of SEC, described the cryptocurrency market as an air that could currently not be caged or regulated.

He noted that cryptocurrency was a market of about two trillion dollars which could not be ignored.

According to him, the world cannot be moving forward and we will be static.

Agama said that although the SEC or the capital market would not accommodate or encourage any fraudulent practices that allowed for money laundering, cryptocurrency was a market to look into.

“There is a lot of investment moving into the cryptocurrency market, and the tendency is that it will reduce the amount of investments in the stock market.

“Part of the desire of the SEC even in the future is to provide a regulatory framework that will take care of all these challenges that we have seen internationally, and the entire world is grappling with in terms of cryptocurrency and digital assets.

“For us at the SEC and capital market, it is something to look at, the world cannot be moving forward, and we will be static, no.

“It is important for us to review, understand, appreciate and introduce regulations that will guide the movement of the market in this direction.

“A market that has an opportunity for ICOs, derivatives, is not a market we can ignore.

“ It is our desire that we do more work, collaborate as regulators and analyse to make sure that we provide a level playing field where Nigerians, international investors and whoever is interested in this space will be comfortable and happy.

“I hope that in doing that, we are going to be able to drive foreign portfolio investment, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into this country and build our capital market,’’ he said.

Recall that CBN had earlier this month ordered banks and financial institutions in Nigeria to close the accounts of cryptocurrency traders.

CBN, in its circular signed by Director of Banking Supervision, Bello Hassan, directed financial institutions to halt any transactions in crypto or to facilitate payments for crypto exchanges.

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