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Nigerian SEC Set To Meet With Foreign Crypto Exchanges Amid Regulatory Crackdown: Report

Julia Smith
Last updated: | 2 min read
Cryptocurrencies on a map symbolizing the Nigerian SEC's upcoming meeting on crypto regulation as two Binance executives face charges in the African nation.
The Nigerian SEC's upcoming meeting with crypto industry leaders holds major implications for the future of cryptocurrencies in the country.

A Friday report from CoinTelegraph revealed that the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will meet with crypto exchanges to discuss the state of crypto regulation in the African nation. The country has also recently detained two Binance executives charged with money laundering and tax evasion.

Nigerian SEC To Meet With Crypto Exchanges On Crypto Regulation

According to CoinTelegraph’s interview with Lucky Uwakwe, Chair of Nigeria’s Blockchain Industry Coordinating Committee (BICCoN), the upcoming meeting between the Nigerian SEC and crypto exchanges will primarily focus on addressing regulatory concerns within the country’s cryptocurrency sector.

Spearheaded by Emomotimi Agama, the newly appointed Nigerian SEC Director General, the meeting will take place on May 6 and is open to key players in Nigeria’s crypto industry, including virtual asset service providers (VASPS), wallet providers, and crypto exchange platforms.

“Everyone’s presence and insights are invaluable as we collectively navigate the regulatory terrain and strive toward fostering an environment conducive to innovation and growth within the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector,” Uwakwe told CoinTelegraph.

Binance Executives Remain Detained Amidst Crypto Crackdown

News of the meeting comes during troubling economic times for the country, with some blame being pinned on cryptocurrencies.

In February, Nigeria’s government reportedly banned its citizens’ access to several crypto exchanges, effectively accusing Binance of fixing the rate of the country’s currency, naira.

Nigerian Central Bank Governor Olayemi Cardoso accused Binance of shuffling an estimated $26 billion worth of illicit funds through its Nigerian branch last year.

“We are concerned that certain practices that go on that indicate illicit flows through a number of these entities and suspicious flows at best,” Cardoso said. “In the case of Binance, $26 billion has passed through Binance Nigeria from sources and users we cannot adequately identify.”

That same month, the country detained two Binance executives, Nadeem Anjarwalla and Tigran Gambaryan, before charging them with money laundering and tax evasion.

Anjarwalla was arrested just over a week ago, nearly 3,000 miles away in Kenya, after fleeing shortly after his arrest.

By March, the country had demanded $10 billion in compensation from the crypto exchange, with Binance discontinuing all services in the African nation.

Just last month, its inflation rate soared to a near 30-year record of 33% as the government shifted its blame toward cryptocurrencies as the cause of the crash.

Meanwhile, a Nigerian court pushed back Anjarwalla and Gambaryan’s money laundering trial to May 17 after a lawyer for Binance claimed he was never given necessary proof-of-evidence documents needed for his defense.

While questions surrounding the legitimacy of the arrest remain ongoing, the country’s stringent crackdown on crypto may spell doom for the two Binance executives. 

Next week’s meeting between the Nigerian SEC and crypto stakeholders may offer insights into the future direction of the country’s cryptocurrency policies.