Nigerians Push for Crypto Regulations

July 09, 2024

As Nigeria’s cryptocurrency scene continues to grow, with around a third of Nigerians reportedly owning or using cryptocurrencies, questions about how to regulate the market are becoming more widespread.

Nigerians Push for Crypto Regulations

Over a year ago, new policy indicated that the future for a blockchain-powered economy in both Nigeria’s public and private sectors was imminent, but focus has been drawn to the crypto element recently, with both the Director General of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission and a Nigerian data and policy analyst highlighting the potential that a regulated crypto space could bring to the country. If Nigeria were to forge ahead with crypto with as much enthusiasm as it has embraced the underlying technology, it could revolutionize banking in the country and have wider-reaching implications for crypto regulations in West Africa.

With more than a third of Nigerian adults estimated to be unbanked, it is easy to see why Emomotimi Agama, DG of the Nigerian SEC, is touting the benefits of crypto, but one of the main focuses of Agama is the borderless nature of crypto, allowing Nigerians living or working abroad to send money back to their families without traditionally expensive remittance fees. With this positive reception to crypto, Agama still notes the importance of security and regulation, highlighting the need for a clear regulatory framework.

One place that Nigeria could look to for inspiration on crypto and blockchain laws, according to Nigerian data and policy analyst Obinna Uzoije in an interview with Cointelegraph, is the EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA). Uzoije noted that the introduction of a similar regulatory framework could ease concerns of money laundering and terrorist financing across the Economic Community of West African States.

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- By Matthew Warner