Crypto exchanges to meet Nigerian SEC chief for regulatory talks

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The Blockchain Industry Coordinating Committee of Nigeria (BICCoN) is convening a roundtable on May 6 between the new director general of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and local and international crypto exchanges to discuss and seek consensus on the status of crypto in the country.

The BICCoN chair, Lucky Uwakwe, explained on a call with Cointelegraph that the meeting is open to all digital assets exchange operators, wallet providers, other virtual asset service providers (VASPs), and relevant industry associations and bodies to address relevant issues and chart a progressive course for crypto regulations in Nigeria.

Uwakwe explained that the virtual meeting is being convened at the invitation of Emomotimi Agama, the new director general of the SEC. Agama aims to engage with key stakeholders in the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem to address regulatory challenges and opportunities through collaborative dialogue. 

Agama, who was recently appointed to head the regulatory body, is known for his wealth of experience in blockchain and the capital market.

According to Uwakwe, the meeting will allow different industry associations to present their perspectives on the current state of crypto in Nigeria.

Some of these associations include the Blockchain Nigeria User Group (BNUG), the Cryptographic Development Initiative in Nigeria (CDIN), the Digital Currency Consortium (DCC) and the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN).

Uwakwe expressed hope that the meeting could spark the right kind of change that would favor all crypto stakeholders in Nigeria and internationally:

“Everyone’s presence and insights are invaluable as we collectively navigate the regulatory terrain and strive toward fostering an environment conducive to innovation and growth within the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector.”

Nigeria has taken steps contradicting its December 2023 decision to lift a crypto ban and has since launched probes into the use of cryptocurrency in the country.

Related: Nigerian fintechs crack down on crypto, users face account blocks

In February, the Nigerian government used the country’s telecommunication providers to prevent local crypto users from accessing the websites of various crypto exchanges such as Binance, OctaFX and others.

Nigeria’s SEC also proposed an amendment to the rules guiding platforms offering crypto services, suggesting a hike in the registration fee for crypto exchanges from 30 million Nigerian naira ($18,620) to 150 million naira ($93,000).

Although the SEC attributes the proposed changes to input from industry stakeholders, some have criticized the 500 million naira ($310,343) paid-up capital requirement. They argue that this high fee would primarily favor foreign firms and disadvantage local entities.

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