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Nigerian SEC Amends Digital Asset Regulations

The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission has updated its regulations on Digital Asset Issuance, Offering Platforms, Exchange, and Custody to enhance the regulatory environment for virtual assets.

The Nigerian SEC is updating its digital asset regulations to enhance the virtual asset environment.
Credit: Foretoken Media 2024

ABUJA, Nigeria – The Nigerian SEC has recently announced significant updates to its regulations concerning digital assets, aimed at fostering a more robust and adaptable regulatory framework. This overhaul includes the introduction of the Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Programme (ARIP), specifically tailored for Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs).

Nigeria's Digital Assets Regulations

The Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Program (ARIP) is designed to facilitate VASPs in aligning with the new regulatory requirements. According to the SEC’s circular, there is a dedicated onboarding window for VASPs to join the ARIP, accessible via the SEC ePortal. VASPs must complete the onboarding process within 30 days from the circular’s issuance date to ensure compliance with the updated regulations.

The SEC has emphasized its commitment to strict enforcement of these regulations, warning VASPs that non-compliance will result in regulatory actions. This measure aims to maintain a secure and transparent digital asset market in Nigeria.

The updated regulations follow the appointment of Emomotimi Agama as the new Director-General of the SEC. This initiative underscores the urgent need for responsible regulation of the virtual assets industry in Nigeria. The SEC aims to balance regulatory oversight with market growth, moving away from clampdowns and towards a more structured regulatory approach.

In March, the SEC proposed an amendment to increase the registration fee for crypto exchanges from 30 million naira ($18,620) to 150 million naira ($93,000). This move highlights the SEC’s effort to standardize the industry and ensure that only serious players operate within the Nigerian market.

Nigeria's Crypto Market Growth

Nigeria has rapidly become one of the fastest-growing crypto economies globally. In 2023, it ranked as the second-biggest economy in terms of crypto adoption. Moreover, in August 2022, Nigeria was recognized as the most crypto-obsessed country in the world, based on Google searches for “cryptocurrency” and “buy crypto.”

The Nigerian SEC’s amendments to its digital asset regulations and the introduction of the ARIP signify a pivotal shift towards a more comprehensive and enforceable regulatory framework. These changes aim to enhance market integrity, protect investors, and foster the growth of the digital asset industry in Nigeria.


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