Nigeria’s blockchain advocacy group, the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN), has said the cryptocurrency should be regulated. Any such regulation should, on one hand, promote innovation, while on the other, discourage bad actors.
Providing equal access to banking and financial services:
Stakeholders in the Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN), a Nigerian blockchain advocacy group, urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reconsider its decision to prevent crypto entities from accessing the banking system.
In response, the group started a Twitter campaign to regulate cryptocurrencies, stating that “crypto is legit”.
The advocacy group has expressed its desire for various bodies and government ministries to play a role in ensuring cryptocurrencies become a recognized and regulated asset class precisely one year after the CBN directive came into effect. Regulation of cryptocurrencies may also be beneficial, according to the statement.
In accordance with the Nigerian Constitution, today we advocate equal access to banking and financial services by virtual asset service providers (VASPs). In particular, Nigerian laws on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulations. “This will aid investigations by our law enforcement agencies, including the Nigeria Police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),” SIBAN said.
Joint regulation of crypto assets:
However, in a move that might not please the CBN, the stakeholder group suggested that Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as other relevant regulators, be included in any attempt to regulate cryptocurrencies as per “their statutory duties under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
Both the SEC and the central bank appeared to oversee the crypto industry before February 5, 2021, with the former having issued circular identifying crypto assets as securities in September 2020. After the CBN moved, the SEC announced it had suspended its circular and was in contact with the central bank.
SIBAN describes what it hopes to gain from having a regulated cryptocurrency industry through its statement. It explains: “In order to encourage innovation and discourage bad actors, regulators should follow a regulatory approach that discourages bad actors, not all actors. The role of regulation is not to make risks disappear, but to manage them according to global best practices in collaboration with industry players and all other interested parties.”
SIBAN added that it is also concerned with “consumer protection, investment safety and a safe and sound financial sector”. However, the group, which has offered to help, insists “no regulator can do this alone.”