Crypto is like air; the Nigerian government can’t cage it: SEC | #NwokeukwuMascot


SEC says it controls and regulates cryptocurrencies and other digital assets but admits it is impossible to “cage” it, describing it as “air.” | #NwokeukwuMascot

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it controls and regulates cryptocurrencies and other digital assets but admits it is impossible to “cage” it, describing it as “air.”

SEC director-general Emomotimi Agama said this at the first Annual Conference of the Association of Capital Market Academics of Nigeria (ACMAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr Agama described crypto assets as digital or virtual assets utilised by cryptography for security. He said over 15,000 cryptocurrencies were created, with Bitcoin being the most popular.

The director-general said the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency was not yet firm, even in the United States.

According to him, Nigeria’s crypto transaction volume reached $56.7 billion between July 2022 and June 2023, hence the SEC’s efforts.

Mr Agama said 33.4 per cent of Nigerians used or owned cryptocurrencies, citing a survey.

”Secrecy of crypto usage is what is driving its adoption by the youth. Some people don’t have bank accounts, but they have crypto wallets. Crypto is like air. Can you cage it? No. What you can do is to build a risk management around it,” he said.

Mr Agama said the commission would continue to educate investors on the risks associated with digital assets so that they could make wise investment decisions.

Osita Izunaso, the Senate Committee on Capital Market chairman, said the country required effective crypto regulation to benefit from the market’s gains.

Mr Izunaso said the absence of effective regulation on crypto currencies had exposed many investors to fraud. He called for the synergy of all stakeholders to harness crypto opportunities.

The director-general of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, called for awareness to be created to educate investors and help them make informed decisions.

Bello Hassan, the managing director of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, said that crypto currencies had come to stay as younger people were patronising the market.

Mr Hassan called on the SEC to constantly update investors with unbiased information on the associated risks of trading in the crypto market.



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