The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced a significant increase in registration fees for platforms offering crypto services. The new proposed fees will rise from 30 million naira (approximately US$18,620) to 150 million naira (approximately US$93,000), an increase that is part of a series of regulatory amendments for the crypto sector.

Providing more clarity

These changes, proposed on Friday, March 15, 2024, are intended to provide greater clarity and incorporate suggestions from industry stakeholders. This follows previous rules and guidelines introduced by the SEC in May 2022 for crypto and digital asset service providers. The adjustments also include an increase in application and processing fees for digital asset exchanges and platform operators.

Under the updated regulations, crypto exchanges must now pay an application fee of 300,000 naira ($186), up from the previous 100,000 naira ($62). The processing fee has also been increased from 300,000 naira to 1 million naira ($620). Registration fees see the most significant increase, with a 400% increase, significantly increasing the financial burden on new and existing platforms.

A notable change is the renaming of rules

One notable proposed change is the renaming of the rules, which will now be called ‘Rules for the Issuance of Digital Assets, Offering Platforms, Exchange and Custody’. The SEC emphasizes that these adjustments are aimed at increasing transparency and incorporating inputs from sector stakeholders, reflecting on insights gained from recent discussions with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Despite this, the increase in the paid-up capital requirement to 500 million naira ($310,343) has been criticized, with some arguing that the move would mainly favor foreign entities at the expense of local companies.

Striking timing of new developments

These developments come at a time when Nigeria is emerging as one of the leading countries globally in crypto adoption, thanks in part to the growing interest and use of digital currencies within the country. This also comes after Nigeria’s decision to abandon its long-standing currency peg, which led to a period of high inflation, reaching a record high in January 2024.

Only time will tell how these proposed changes will impact Nigeria’s dynamic crypto economy, at a time when digital currencies are becoming an increasingly important part of the country’s financial infrastructure.


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