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Absa commends SEC for proactive regulation of digital assets

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Absa Nigeria, a leading pan-African bank with a strong footprint across the African continent, has commended Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for proactively providing a regulatory framework for investing and trading digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.

Sadiq Abu, CEO of Absa Nigeria, gave this commendation while speaking during the “Power Lunch Show” on CNBC Africa on Monday. He also lauded the commission for recognising digital assets as securities. SEC, the regulator of the Nigerian capital market, had, at the weekend, published a new guideline on Issuance, Offering Platforms and Custody of Digital Assets, fulfilling the promise it made last year to examine the digital currency to gain a better understanding and develop regulations to protect investors.

He said: “SEC decided to be proactive around cryptocurrency and digital assets. SEC has realised that these are rightly called securities and further created a framework to bring them within the broader securities’ regulatory framework in Nigeria. According to him, SEC has also created a framework for protecting investors by requiring investments to be held by digital assets custodians and acknowledge that exchanges or platforms for trading digital assets needed to be regulated.

He said: “There is also an overarching framework for regulating all participants that play in the digital assets space through a specialised license called Virtual Assets Services provider.” He pointed out that a new rule stipulating tenure and other qualifications of the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Officers of Digital Assets Offering Platforms was similar to the regulations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). According to him, this is a clear indication that SEC and CBN worked together to develop the new framework for the operation of digital assets. He stated: “There is clear evidence that SEC is working hands in glove with CBN to create a regulatory framework for the operation of digital assets and the regulation of CEOs and Principal Officers fall under the broader approved persons regime of the SEC.”

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