SEC Considers New Anti-money Laundering Regulations for Digital Assets Operators

SEC Considers New Anti-money Laundering Regulations for Digital Assets Operators

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revealed plans to implement new guidelines aimed at licensing, registering, and screening digital and virtual assets service providers (VASPs).

VASPs, as defined by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), are entities facilitating exchanges between virtual assets (cryptocurrencies) and fiat currencies, as well as transfers of virtual assets.

In a notice dated March 4, 2024, the SEC emphasized that these measures are crucial to prevent criminals from operating within the capital market.

Read Also: CBN Undergoes Major Restructuring: Plans to Relocate Key Departments to Lagos Amidst Staff Discontent

The move follows the CBN’s decision to lift the ban on crypto transactions in Nigeria on December 22, 2023, and issue operational guidelines on VASPs to banks and other financial institutions.

The SEC’s new guidelines are intended to complement existing regulations and ensure robust oversight of the digital asset market. These regulations build upon the SEC’s previous treatment and classification of digital assets released in September 2020.

Among the existing guidelines outlined by the SEC are general requirements for VASPs, issuance of digital assets as securities, digital assets offering platforms (DAOPs), digital assets exchange (DAX), and digital asset custodians (DACs), which were issued in May 2022.

Read Also: CBN Authorizes Foreign Banks to Work with Nigerian Firms to Improve Dollar Liquidity

With the evolving landscape of digital assets, the SEC aims to enhance regulatory clarity and bolster investor protection in Nigeria’s burgeoning digital asset ecosystem.

As digital assets continue to gain prominence, stringent anti-money laundering regulations are crucial to safeguard against illicit financial activities and maintain the integrity of the capital market.

The SEC’s initiative underscores its commitment to fostering a transparent, secure, and compliant environment for digital asset operators and investors alike.

Read Also: CBN Confirms Evacuation of Banknotes to DMBs


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