Nigeria Delays Plans to Regulate Cryptocurrencies and Dealers

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Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended previously announced plans to regulate cryptocurrencies, until those dealing in them are able to open bank accounts in the West African nation.

Last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria ordered financial institutions to close accounts dealing in cryptocurrencies, saying the transactions posed risks to the economy, but those measures are now on hold.

“For the purpose of admittance into the SEC regulatory incubation framework, the assessment of all persons and products affected by the CBN circular of Feb. 5, 2021 is hereby put on hold until such persons are able to operate bank accounts within the Nigerian banking system,” the Abuja-based SEC said in an emailed statement.

The agency said in September it viewed cryptocurrencies as exchangeable securities and would regulate them to provide protection for investors and to ensure the transactions are transparent.

Following risks identified in the transactions by the central bank, the SEC “engaged with the CBN and agreed to work together to further analyze, and better understand the identified risks to ensure that appropriate and adequate mitigants are put in place, should such securities be allowed in the future,” it said in its latest statement.

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