02-11-2020 icon

Nigeria’s SEC Eyes Crypto With Fintech Committee

By calvin
nigeria-fintech

Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finally inaugurates the Fintech Roadmap Implementation Committee in Lagos. The committee will have a say in how cryptocurrencies are classified in the coming months. The move could reshape Fintech in Nigeria.  

A Robust Financial Industry

In 2019, the acting Director General of the Commission, Ms Mary Uduk, revealed plans for the committee to support SEC Nigeria in developing a robust Fintech industry for the nation’s financial ecosystem. 

The Vice President of Fintech Association of Nigeria, Mr. Ade Bajomo will lead the committee as chairman, playing a significant role in recommendations for the classification of cryptocurrencies, Virtual Financial Assets and ICOs. 

Areas of interest to the committee include:

? Classification of crypto-currencies (as commodities, securities, or currency)

? A framework for the regulation of Virtual Financial Assets and Virtual Financial Asset Exchanges

? A framework for the regulation of equity-based crowdfunding

? Guidelines and standards for whitepapers and ICOs

? AML & KYC procedures

? Cybersecurity standards and governance of information

? Taxonomies of tokens

Agile Fintech Innovation in Nigeria

Chimezie Chuta, Founder & Coordinator of Blockchain Nigeria User Group says, 

“The most interesting aspect of this whole thing is the decision by SEC Nigeria to setup an agile Fintech Innovation Unit at the SEC Nigeria office to, among other things, manage investor relationship…this is the first time an agency of government in my lifetime has acted proactively for the interest of innovation in my country Nigeria”

Unshakable Demand for Crypto Continues to Grow

The move could prove to be much welcomed as most African nations have been reactive rather than proactive in their approach to cryptocurrencies. 

A report by African Bank, EcoBank shows that most governments in Africa are taking a “wait and see” approach to regulations of cryptocurrencies. More than half were yet to take a public stance on cryptocurrencies. 

As Nigeria continues to top the charts for Bitcoin interest and adoption, you could say it’s been a long time coming.  A report revealed by The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) presents evidence of relatively higher interest in Bitcoin within the region. According to CIBN, Nigeria was one of the African countries with the highest number of new users of Bitcoin in 2018.