Nigeria Makes No Progress In Regulating Bitcoin Despite Asset’s Popularity

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Nigeria has established itself as a prominent fintech and cryptocurrency powerhouse. Bitcoin and other currencies thrive in the region, yet regulatory uncertainty remains. Unfortunately, the local SEC has no intention of changing much for the foreseeable future. 

Nigeria Struggles To Regulate Crypto

It isn’t a big surprise to see countries delay the regulation of cryptocurrencies. Many people feel that everything except Bitcoin is a security, yet others are more lenient. Finding a unified mindset regarding crypto and how it should be treated is tricky. Moreover, existing laws don’t always fit the new form of money, forcing policymakers to think outside the box. Many struggle with the digital age and seem intent on leaving the decision-making to future generations. 

That situation is the same in Nigeria, a country known for a pro-crypto mindset. As a result, Bitcoin has significantly impacted remittances and other finance-related products and services. However, the country has no official regulation on crypto. That is okay, as these assets thrive regardless of what politicians and institutions think. However, regulatory clarity can benefit the industry and make everything seem more “legitimate”. If and when Nigeria will receive such guidelines is a different matter.

Recent comments by the SEC’s general director confirm as much. There is still disorder among members deciding on industry standards for cryptocurrencies. An unfortunate development, as native exchanges and trading platforms cannot access banking services. While the Nigerian SEC pursues “sensible digital assets”, cryptocurrencies will not be among them. That situation may change, although it seems unlikely. 

It must be noted the Nigerian SEC aims to protect investors and consumers first and foremost. Cryptocurrencies are inherently volatile, and many scandals, hacks, thefts, and other issues exist. Those mainly affect altcoins and not Bitcoin, yet every development casts a shadow on the broader industry. That makes the job harder for regulators trying to clarify this exciting industry. Nigeria is almost in the top 10 global countries embracing cryptocurrencies. Regulation is necessary, but it remains elusive.

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The Strength of Bitcoin

The success of cryptocurrency in Nigeria primarily pertains to Bitcoin. It is the leading cryptocurrency and one of a handful of networks that sees minimal controversy. More importantly, it is fully decentralized, as the technology should be. It is a popular way of sending and receiving money in the country. In addition, many people consider Bitcoin a hedge against inflation. That is remarkable, given the volatile market trend of cryptocurrencies. 

For now, the regulatory future of Bitcoin and other assets remains uncertain in Nigeria. However, one can hope things change soon, although that is easier said than done. Regulation and cryptocurrency remain an uneasy combination. Even so, rules written on paper will not change decentralization or the importance of self-custody. 


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