LAGOS, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Nigeria will begin regulating trade in crypto-token or crypto-coin investments, the country’s financial watchdog said in a statement on Monday.
Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission said regulation was essential to protect investors and ensure market integrity and transparency.
“The position of the Commission is that virtual crypto assets are securities, unless proven otherwise,” the SEC said in a statement. “Thus, the burden of proving that the crypto assets proposed to be offered are not securities and therefore not under the jurisdiction of the SEC, is placed on the issuer or sponsor of the said assets.”
The statement said any crypto assets that are not structured to be exclusively offered through crowdfunding portals or “other exempt methods” would be regulated.
In 2018, the Nigerian central bank warned cryptocurrencies were not legal tender, and that investors were unprotected.
Still, monthly cryptocurrency transfers to and from Africa of under $10,000 jumped more than 55% in a year to reach $316 million in June, data from U.S. blockchain research firm Chainalysis showed. In Nigeria, the data showed small cryptocurrency transfers totalled nearly $56 million in June, nearly 50% more than a year before. (Reporting By Libby George; Editing by Aurora Ellis)