The Nigeria Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it will allow the tokenization of assets such as equities, property, and debt. The financial regulator is currently processing applications from digital exchanges and firms that will act as sub-brokers for trading tokenized coins backed by assets, fund managers, tokenized coins issuers, and crowd-funding intermediaries. The SEC will monitor the services of the firms applying for a probationary period of 12 months to determine their fitness to operate in the country.
Similar Initiatives in Other Jurisdictions
The idea of tokenizing assets is not new and several jurisdictions are already considering it. Singapore’s Project Guardian focuses on this in its collaboration between the country and several private financial institutions. Germany is set to issue new laws allowing the tokenization of equities registered on the blockchain, known as crypto shares, to support private asset accumulation.
Attracting Youth Population to Trade Local Equities
The Nigeria SEC aims to use digital assets to attract its large youth population to trade local equities. Despite the country’s central bank’s anti-crypto stand, the industry has thrived in Africa. Recently, Paxful, a peer-to-peer exchange, reported that Nigeria accounts for its largest cryptocurrency trading volume after the U.S. In addition, Binance, the largest crypto exchange, partnered with Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) to create the first virtual free zone to further develop the crypto industry in the country.
The Future of Digital Assets in Nigeria
The Nigeria SEC’s decision to allow tokenizing assets is a step towards developing the crypto industry in the country. It is hoped that it will attract its youth population and encourage more participation in local equities. With the success of other similar initiatives in different jurisdictions, Nigeria’s move to tokenize assets could prove to be a breakthrough for the African crypto industry.