Digital Assets Guidelines Will Enhance Investor Protection – SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission has said the recently released guidelines on digital assets and their classification and treatment is aimed at boosting investors’ protection in the capital market.

The Head, Registration, Exchanges, Market Infrastructure and Innovation, SEC, Emomotimi Agama, speaking on the guidelines in an interview, said, “The first thing the SEC bothers about is investor protection.

“This is no different from what we have been doing. We are looking at investor protection, integrity, transparency, and of course, we want to make sure that the market is safe and everyone is comfortable with what is going on in the investment climate.”

 Agama noted that last year, the commission launched the fintech road map and after that was done, it went ahead to set up the blockchain virtual financial assets committee.

He said, “These committees are both market-wide and principally done to engage the market, to be able to have discussions with the market and get their buy-in into what we are doing.

“What we found out today is that a lot of persons are  involved in this space and it is important that even as far as that is the case, the SEC lives up to the expectation of making sure that those people that are getting into the business are protected.

“Clearly, that is our aim and the market is part of this and indeed the feedback has been wonderful. People are happy with what we are doing, being able to provide some clarity as to where we stand in terms of digital assets regulation.

“Digital assets is the next thing; our idea is not to stifle innovation, but to promote innovation within a reasonable space and that is exactly what we are doing. Section 13 of the ISA empowers us to do this and so we are doing what we have been empowered to do by law.”

On the internal capacities being developing by SEC to meet the challenges of the fast-changing digital financial world, Agama said, “I need to tell you that the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance has been partnering with the SEC and up to this point, we have been engaging with them and several of our staff have been part of their programmes.

“The World Bank and other institutions are also working with us on fintech to see that the Nigerian landscape is not left barren but guided with basic principles; we will not leave any stone unturned.

“Capacity building is a continuous exercise; we will continue to upgrade ourselves. We will continue to learn because knowledge is for life.”


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