Nigeria to regulate crypto, the country's SEC issues statement

Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an official statement, saying that it would supervise the country's cryptocurrency sector.

The statement, issued Monday, says that crypto provides alternative investment opportunities for the public and should be regulated to ensure investor protection and market integrity. "The general objective of regulation is not to hinder technology or stifle innovation, but to create standards that encourage ethical practices that ultimately make for a fair and efficient market," said the SEC.

The regulator would treat all crypto assets are securities, unless proven otherwise. Therefore all existing and new crypto businesses will have to get registered with the SEC. In case companies think that their offerings are not securities, they will have to prove that by submitting an initial assessment filing with the regulator.

"Existing digital assets offerings prior to the implementation of the Regulatory Guidelines will have three (3) months to either submit the initial assessment filing or documents for registration proper, as the case may be," the statement reads. It is not clear whether the SEC will issue detailed guidelines and when those will come into force.

The SEC defines a crypto asset as a "digital representation of value that can be digitally traded and functions as (1) a medium of exchange; and/or (2) a unit of account; and/or (3) a store of value, but does not have legal tender status in any jurisdiction."

"A Crypto Asset is – neither issued nor guaranteed by any jurisdiction, and fulfils the above functions only by agreement within the community of users of the Crypto Asset; and Distinguished from Fiat Currency and E-money," the SEC added.