The Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria recently announced that it would be regulating the trade of cryptocurrencies in the country. “The commission’s regulation shall guide issuers or sponsors of virtual digital assets,” the regulator said in a statement. The move is intended to protect investors’ best interests and to promote transparency within the space: “the general objective of regulation is not to hinder technology or stifle innovation but to create standards that encourage ethical practices,” the regulator said.
Regulations could bring more legitimacy to the crypto industry in Nigeria.
Currently, there aren’t too many specifics about what the regulation will look like, but the agency said that the regulations would apply “when the character of the investments qualifies as securities transactions.” In other words, if the digital assets can be classified as securities, they will fall under the jurisdiction of the Nigerian SEC. And even though the regulation hasn’t hit the books yet, the fact that the Nigerian SEC is making moves toward regulating cryptocurrencies seems to represent a shift in the country’s attitude toward crypto. Earlier, the Central Bank of Nigeria declared in 2018 that crypto-currencies, including Bitcoin, Ripple, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Onecoin, were not regarded as money.
Crypto adoption increases in African countries.
The trading volume of cryptocurrency on peer-to-peer platforms increased significantly this year. Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana witnessed an increase in trading volume by 125%, 194%, 199%, and 257%, respectively. Africa has been hailed as the continent that would derive the crypto adoption in the future. South America has also witnessed a surge in peer-to-peer trading volume in the last few months. According to the map published at Blockchaincenter.net, Google Trends data shows that the bitcoin dominates search interest in Africa. 94.7% of all searches related to crypto, including BTC, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and Tron—in Kenya, are for Bitcoin.