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Nigeria Updates Crypto Regulations Amid Health Crisis for Detained Binance Executive

The Nigeria Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has introduced a revamped regulatory framework for digital assets. This announcement, made on Friday, follows a visit by U.S. lawmakers to detained Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan.

Nigeria SEC Launches ARIP to Enhance Crypto Regulation

The SEC’s new framework aims to thoroughly update the rules governing digital asset issuance, exchange, custody, and related platforms. Detailed in a public notice, the revisions are intended to refine the regulatory landscape and address the intricacies of modern digital asset markets. 

The framework introduces the Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Program (ARIP), designed to foster regulatory compliance among fintech enterprises. ARIP invites virtual asset service providers (VASPs) to align their operations with the new guidelines within a 30-day application window. Failure to comply could lead to stringent enforcement measures.

This initiative is poised to support innovative financial technologies while ensuring market integrity and protecting investors. It reflects the SEC’s commitment to nurturing a more adaptive and inclusive regulatory environment.

 Health Concerns for a Detained Executive

Parallel to regulatory updates, concern mounts over the wellbeing of Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance executive detained in Nigeria. His health has reportedly deteriorated, and he is suffering from malaria and double pneumonia and is losing significant weight. 

U.S. representatives French Hill and Chrissy Houlahan reported that Gambaryan is denied necessary medical care despite a court order for hospital admission. After a distressing delay, the prison conducted a brief medical check-up but has not shared the results with his family, lawyers, or the U.S. embassy.

Inadequate healthcare and slow responses have driven U.S. officials to seek help from President Joe Biden. They advocate for Gambaryan’s immediate humanitarian release and the dismissal of all charges, emphasizing his right to return to the U.S.

Nigeria’s Position in the Global Crypto Market

Nigeria continues to make strides as a leading player in the global cryptocurrency arena. Recognized as one of the most enthusiastic crypto adopters ranked as the second-largest economy in crypto usage in 2023.

The country topped global charts in August 2022 for the most crypto-related searches on Google. This surge in crypto engagement prompts the SEC to tighten regulatory measures, including a proposed increase in the registration fee for crypto exchanges from 30 million naira ($18,620) to 150 million naira ($93,000).

The SEC’s proactive stance in refining crypto regulations aligns with Nigeria’s burgeoning role in the digital economy. By bolstering legal frameworks and launching programs like ARIP, Nigeria aims to secure a balance between innovation and consumer protection, fostering a safe and dynamic market for digital assets.

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Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is a high-risk asset class. This article is provided for informational purposes and does not constitute investment advice. You could lose all of your capital.

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