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Regulation | Owing to “Current Realities,” Nigeria SEC Issues a Notice for Onboarding VASPs in 30 Days

A notification to revise its regulations on the issuance of digital assets, offering platforms, exchange, and custody has been released by the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The notice further stated that the SEC was creating a unique onboarding window for these firms, and it was posted on the organization’s website on June 21, 2024.

“The Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Programme [ARIP] tagged Virtual Assets Service Providers [VASPs] can now be onboarded through a special window that the Commission is providing,” the circular states. “With the issuance of this Circular, all currently active and potential VASPs are hereby instructed to visit the SEC ePortal and finish the application process by the date of this Circular, at the latest.”

The Commission stated that it would take enforcement action against any running VASP that disobeys the instructions after the 30-day window has passed. Members of the local tech community conjectured last month [May 2024] that the government was drafting stricter laws for cryptocurrency exchanges. This comes after cryptocurrency trading was identified as a national security threat by the National Security Advisor (NSA).

Authorities in the nation have been closely monitoring exchanges because they think cryptocurrency platforms encourage speculation and possible exchange rate manipulation. The government issued orders for many services, including Coinbase, Quidax, and Binance, to cease operations in late February 2024.

Along with two of its employees, Binance has been the target of accusations of tax evasion and money laundering. “$26 billion has passed through Binance Nigeria from sources and users we cannot identify,” according to claims made by Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CNB), Olayemi Cardoso. However, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, two Binance employees, have not been charged with tax evasion by the Nigerian Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

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