The chief financial watchdog of Nigeria will treat cryptocurrencies and token offerings as forms of security until proven otherwise.
- In a statement signed Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Africa's most populous country said all crypto assets will fall under the regulation that covers securities exchanges and transactions on exchanges.
- It added that the burden of proof will be on issuers themselves to show the regulator, in an initial assessment filing, how their particular digital asset doesn't count as a security.
- "The position of the Commission is that virtual crypto assets are securities unless proven otherwise," the SEC said.
- The SEC confirmed all forms of digital asset offering taking place in the country, as well as participating individuals and companies, acting for themselves or on behalf of others, will be subject to its regulatory guidelines and approval.
- As well as clarifying in no uncertain terms whose jurisdiction cryptocurrencies fall into, the move might also cover all bases and ensure even offerings that don't meet the criteria as a securities sale still register and file with the SEC.
- It may also be an attempt to better control overseas offerings. Issuers that are based in countries without reciprocal investment agreements with Nigeria, such as the U.S., could be compelled to set up a local branch in the country.
- Nigeria isn't the first African nation aligning digital asset offerings with existing securities guidance. South Africa published a policy paper in April that called for all token offerings to adhere to traditional regulation as much as possible.