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SEC Raises Nigerian Crypto Exchange Registration Fee by 500% to N150M

SEC Raises Nigerian Crypto Exchange Registration Fee by 500% to N150M

Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has unveiled proposed amendments to the registration fees for platforms offering Crypto Exchange services. The proposed changes aim to provide clarity and incorporate feedback from industry stakeholders, particularly following engagements with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to reports from CoinTelegraph, the SEC is proposing to raise the registration fee from 30 million naira ($18,620) to 150 million naira ($93,000). This fivefold increase underscores the regulatory authorities’ efforts to streamline and strengthen oversight of the cryptocurrency market in Nigeria.

The SEC initially introduced rules and guidelines for all crypto and digital assets service providers in May 2022. However, on Friday, March 15th, 2024, it announced a fresh amendment to the existing regulations. Alongside the increase in registration fees, the proposed changes include adjustments to application and processing fees.

Under the new guidelines, digital asset exchanges, offering platforms, and custodians will be required to pay an application fee of 300,000 naira ($186), up from the previous 100,000 naira ($62). Similarly, the processing fee is set to surge from 300,000 naira ($186) to 1 million naira ($620). These fee hikes reflect the SEC’s efforts to bolster oversight and ensure compliance within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

One notable alteration introduced by the SEC is the renaming of the rules and guidelines from “New Rules on Issuance, Offering Platforms and Custody of Digital Assets” to “Rules on Digital Assets Issuance, Offering Platforms, Exchange, and Custody.” This renaming aims to provide greater clarity and alignment with industry practices, incorporating insights gained from recent discussions with regulatory authorities, including the CBN.

The proposed amendments come amid heightened scrutiny of cryptocurrency activities in Nigeria, following allegations against Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchange platforms. Nigerian authorities accused Binance of manipulating the local currency, the Naira, leading to a standoff between the exchange and regulatory agencies. This dispute resulted in the detention of two Binance executives invited to Nigeria to address the allegations.

The regulatory landscape surrounding cryptocurrencies in Nigeria has evolved significantly in recent years. In June 2023, Nigeria abandoned its currency peg and allowed the Naira to trade freely, a move aimed at promoting market-driven exchange rates. However, this decision has been accompanied by challenges, including staggering inflation and currency depreciation.

Despite these challenges, Nigeria has emerged as one of the fastest-growing crypto economies globally, experiencing a surge in crypto adoption in recent years. In 2023, it ranked as the second-biggest economy in terms of crypto adoption. Additionally, Nigeria was identified as the most crypto-obsessed country in the world based on Google search trends for “cryptocurrency” or “buy crypto” in August 2022.

As the cryptocurrency market continues to evolve and regulatory frameworks adapt, stakeholders in Nigeria’s crypto ecosystem must navigate these changes while striving to promote innovation and compliance. The proposed amendments by the SEC signal a concerted effort to strengthen oversight and foster a sustainable and secure environment for cryptocurrency activities in Nigeria.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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