SEC Calls For Regulation Of Digital Assets, Says $ 2 Trillion Crypto Cannot Be Ignored
Timi Agama, head of the SEC’s Registration, Exchanges, Market Infrastructure and Innovation, spoke on Sunday at a virtual conference hosted by the Association of Capital Markets Academics of Nigeria (ACMAN) in Abuja.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has asked commercial banks to block the accounts of cryptocurrency traders in their systems.
Following the directive, Nigerians took to social media to denounce the decision.
NAN quotes Agama as saying that crypto is a $ 2 trillion market that cannot be ignored.
He said that peace cannot continue as long as Nigeria remains static.
Agama said that while the SEC or the capital market does not approve or encourage any fraudulent practice that allows money laundering, cryptocurrency is a market to watch out for.
“There are a lot of investments in the cryptocurrency market and the trend is that they will reduce the volume of investments in the stock market. Part of the SEC’s desire for the future is also to create a regulatory framework that will address all of these problems that we have seen internationally and that the whole world is struggling with in terms of cryptocurrency and digital assets, ”he said.
“For us, working in the SEC and in the capital market, there is something to look at, the world cannot continue, and we will be static, no. It is important for us to study, understand, evaluate and introduce the rules that will guide the movement of the market in this direction.
“The market in which there are opportunities for ICOs, derivatives is not a market that we can ignore. We want to work harder, collaborate as regulators and analyze to ensure a level playing field in which Nigerians, international investors, and anyone else with an interest in this space feel comfortable and happy.
“I hope that in this way we can attract foreign portfolio investment, foreign direct investment (FDI) to this country and build our capital market.”
In a keynote speech, Kevin Amugo, director of financial policy and regulation at CBN, said the ban should have allowed him to work with stakeholders to address the issue of technology anonymity.
He said CBN will continue to develop policies that optimize opportunities in the fintech sector and advance the country’s economic landscape.
Amugo added that consumer protection was a huge issue in the cryptocurrency market as it was speculative and its price was independent of the economic basis.
“The Cryptocurrency Committee, chaired by the National Security Adviser, and its members are the EFCC, NFIU, SEC, NAICOM and all regulators that strategize and articulate a national position, not a monetary policy position,” he said.
“We published our initial draft, but COVID-19 prevented us from completing our actions. Because of the interest in cryptocurrency has revived, I think it’s time to get back together and make sure we are in a national position so that what has been issued is a national position and not a CBN or SEC position. “
Amugo said CBN does not restrict fintech operations, as evidenced by the licenses granted to fintech companies.
He said Bank Apex is conducting local and international consultations to develop a coherent and effective position.