The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it put its plans to regulate crypto on hold after the central bank declared that it would prohibit financial institutions from working with crypto exchanges.
“For the purpose of admittance into the SEC Regulatory Incubation Framework, the assessment of all persons (and products) affected by the CBN Circular of February 5, 2021, is hereby put on hold until such persons are able to operate bank accounts within the Nigerian banking system.” – SEC
SEC recognized digital assets a few months ago, in September 2020, and announced that it would create a regulatory sandbox for cryptocurrencies as it was trying to regulate the market.
After people made noise regarding the conflicts between the opinion of SEC and the opinion of the central bank, SEC decided to make this statement. SEC also declared that the regulatory sandbox proposal for non-crypto fintech companies that focus on the capital market would nevertheless continue as already planned.
The decision of the central bank regarding the ban of crypto divided Nigerians, with the more progressive ones opposing this decision. The central bank commented that it took this decision in order to stop the illegal usage of crypto across the country.
Meanwhile, Senator Sani Musa of the Niger East Senatorial District commented that Bitcoin made the naira “almost useless” while the Senate plenary session had some people voice their support for a more nuanced approach on the central bank’s part.