The Securities and Exchange Commission says cryptocurrency is a market of about two trillion dollars which cannot be ignored.
The Head of Department, Registration, Exchanges, Market Infrastructure and Innovation Department of SEC, Timi Agama, disclosed this during a virtual lecture organised by the Association of Capital Market Academics of Nigeria (ACMAN) in Abuja on Sunday.
Agama described cryptocurrency market as an air that can’t be caged or regulated.
According to him, the world will not be moving forward, while the country remains static.
Agama added that although SEC or the capital market would not accommodate or encourage any fraudulent practices, “cryptocurrency is a market to look into.”
Agama said, “Part of the desire of the SEC even in the future is to provide a regulatory framework that will take care of all these challenges that we have seen internationally and the entire world is grappling with in terms of cryptocurrency and digital assets.
“For us at SEC and capital market, it is something to look at, the world cannot be moving forward and we will be static, no.
“It is important for us to review, understand, appreciate and introduce regulations that will guide the movement of the market in this direction. A market that has opportunity for ICOs, derivatives, is not a market we can ignore.
“It is our desire that we do more work, collaborate as regulators and analyse to make sure that we provide a level playing field where Nigerians, international investors and whoever is interested in this space will be comfortable and happy.
“I hope that in doing that, we are going to be able to drive foreign portfolio investment, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into this country and build our capital market.”
Gbite Oduneye, Chief Executive Officer of the Eagle Global Market (EGM) Lagos, appealed to the CBN and SEC to look at ways to safeguard against money laundering in the market.
Oduneye appealed to regulators to find ways to regulate the cryptocurrency market as there are prospects in it.
“We understand the difficulties in the market but the regulators must organise and look for ways, organise and make people operate the way they want in the market.
“Every new innovation will come with a number of difficulties but we have the innovative minds, great regulators that can enable us to take advantage in this,’’ he explained.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had ordered banks to halt Cryptocurrency transactions.