SEC to issue new anti-money laundering regulations for digital assets operators

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it has developed new guidelines for licensing, registration and screening of digital and virtual assets service providers (VASPs).

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), VASPs are entities that conduct exchanges between virtual assets (cryptocurrencies) and fiat currencies, and transfers of virtual assets.

In a notice seen by The Cable dated March 4, 2024, the SEC said the new measures would ensure that “criminals are not registered as operators” in the capital market. The CBN had lifted the ban on crypto transactions in the country on December 22, 2023, and issued operational guidelines on virtual assets service providers (VASPs) to all banks and other financial institutions (OFIs).

Based on the SEC circular, the new guidelines will serve as additional rules and regulations to the existing ones.

“In September 2020, the Commission released its treatment and classification of digital assets where it specified its regulatory purview over Crypto tokens traded on a recognised exchange, Utility tokens traded on a recognized exchange, security tokens that have features of securities and funds and derivatives of these three types of tokens” the circular reads.

SEC outlined the existing guidelines issued in May 2022 to include; general requirements for VASPs, issuance of digital assets as securities, digital assets offering platforms (DAOPs), digital assets exchange (DAX), and digital asset custodians (DACs).

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